The magic four-letter word

There’s one four letter word that isn’t used enough in relationships and that is: ‘ouch’. According to relationship expert Hal Runkel, who specialises in ‘screamfree’ resolutions, this display of vulnerability is a lot harder to say than you may think.

‘When we’re in conflict, inevitably we will say something that hurts the other person, using the inside information that you have on them or that they have on you. They’ve used something precious that nobody else knows and it’s a tender spot and everything in you wants to scream something right back at them. “Oh yeah? Well you’re starting to look like your mother”.’

At this point he suggests saying, ‘Ouch. That one hurt.’

Instead of pushing your partner away, he says it invites them in, he says.
‘That four-letter word actually says: I am open enough to you that you can actually hurt me, so now how about we talk to each other as if we love each other.’

And say it like you mean it, too.

Stand up as tall as you can and own it,’ he continues. Because what you’re saying is: ‘Your next answer will tell me a lot about our relationship.’