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STUDIO CITY (CBS) — Looking for love? Relationship expert and love coach Annie Lalla may have the tips to a lasting romance.
Lalla visited the KCAL9 studios Monday to talk about the five tools she uses in the “art of fighting,” and how conflict is a crucial part of communication and intimacy.
Specializing in love, sex & conflict resolution, Annie teaches her signature method: ‘The Art of Fighting’. She sees conflict as a crucial part of intimacy development. ”Arguments are opportunities to understand your partner better, when handled with maturity & skill they can be used to bring you closer instead of farther apart.”
5 Tools in the Art of Fighting:
1) Go from Opponent to Ally
Most people see fighting as combat -you against another- in a duel of wits. But what if you viewed fights another way… instead of you vs. them, you are both on the same team, armed in tandem against a 3rd party called a “misunderstanding”. It turns out, most conflict reduces down to some form of misunderstanding but unified, you & your partner can work to undermine it. Humans learn through conflict and when it gets resolved effectively, it serves to strengthen relationships.
2) Maintain Physical Contact During Conflict
Touch is life’s most primary sense and our body’s first form of communication. I tell my clients make physical contact as soon as you sense conflict, even though it may feel counter-intuitive. The last thing we feel like doing when triggered is to reach out and grab our partner’s hand, but that’s exactly the kind of move that makes for extraordinary relations. It’s hard to remain angry when you’re connected physically.
3) Take 100% Responsibility
In this model you assume 100% responsibility for all that transpires in an interaction with your partner. This prevents your victimhood, which keeps you trapped in a powerless state. In a conflict, you may not believe you’re responsible at all, but taking on that responsibility is a very useful perspective that, if explored, may reveal new ways to improve your inner game. Lead by example and eventually your partner too will start playing the same selfless game with you.
4) Look for Positive Intention
Before judging an action as wrong, look for the hidden motivation beneath your partner’s words or behavior. During any frustration, each party usually has a good intention behind their actions. The trick is to be on the lookout for what they were trying to do that was intended as helpful or useful. Try to dig down until you get to the mutual positive intention that both of you share. I recommend a visualization technique called “climbing in.”
5) Uncover & Love their Shadow
We all have things we keep hidden from others, parts of ourselves that cause confusion & shame. These slivers of our have gotten fragmented in the past when they were not accepted or punished. We tend to love our partner in spots too rather than as a complete whole. Your partner may have a physical flaw –big ears, a lisp, weird feet, a scar, a feature they clearly don’t like. Exploring ways to acknowledge and appreciate those flaws using what I call this fetishizing-the-flaw is a great way to help your partner begin loving themselves.
For more love and relationship advice, visit Annie’s Web site.