A therapist shares the tricks that help her avoid destructive fights with her husband and kids

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A therapist shares the tricks that help her avoid destructive fights with her husband and kids
Therapist Alexandra Solomon is the author of the upcoming book "Love Every Day: 365 Relational Self-Awareness Practices to Help Your Relationship Heal, Grow and Thrive."Samantha Hardy
  • Therapist Alexandra Solomon's upcoming book "Love Every Day" has daily prompts for improving your relationships.
  • Solomon said making small but intentional efforts each day is more productive than expecting change after one conversation.
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Therapist Alexandra Solomon has spent years curating her Instagram page with bite-sized tips and quips that help her followers improve their relationships.

And she knows her posts resonate because she receives daily messages from readers, asking for tailored advice or for Solomon to dig up old posts that they can't seem to find.

Solomon wanted to have a more permanent home for her tips, so she wrote the upcoming book "Love Every Day: 365 Relational Self-Awareness Practices to Help Your Relationship Heal, Grow and Thrive." In it, she offers a daily journal prompt or practice that touches on one of nine central themes, including "transforming conflict," "healing from the past," and "navigating love's stages."

According to Solomon, her book's daily format can be useful for those who may wrongly believe that you can expect a relationship to change overnight, or with just one conversation. She said to think of the blurbs as daily "microdoses" for relationship growth.

"Rather than change being something big and dramatic, the reality is that change is lots of little things that stack up. This book is a collection of daily opportunities to slow down, check in with yourself, or start a conversation with your partner differently," Solomon, who also hosts the podcast "Reimagining Love," told Insider.

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Out of all of these daily practices, Solomon said she's found two that have made the most impact in her own life. She said that both have helped her to have more productive arguments with the people she loves, including her husband and children.

Asking herself 'How am I coming across right now?' during arguments

For Solomon, the most helpful exercise has been considering the other person's side during a fight.

She said that keeping the question, "How am I coming across right now?" in mind during tense moments has helped her avoid prolonging arguments and come to a solution more quickly.

According to Solomon, this question can greatly benefit those who felt unheard or unseen as children, and may be unaware how they're still acting from that place as adults.

"For those of us who grew up feeling pretty invisible or powerless in our families, it's so easy for us to underestimate the amount of power and influence we have over how an interaction goes," Solomon said.

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There can be an urge to over-explain, or speak defensively or with a frustrated tone due to the fear that you might not be heard. But asking yourself this question, or questions like it, can pull you out of that childhood-rooted fear and back into the present, Solomon said.

She said these similar questions can have the same effect:

  • What is the energy I'm bringing to this conversation?

  • What is my tone of voice right now?

  • What non-verbal cues am I giving?

  • What is my stance in this situation?

Repeating what someone said back to them

Solomon said she's also worked hard to set aside feelings of shame or guilt when a loved one shares something she's done that has hurt them.

In the past, Solomon said that she would feel herself pull away from a conversation, or try to over-explain herself, when someone shared with her how her comment or action negatively affected them.

"I kind of did these things that centered my own pain, instead of the person who was hurt and their pain," Solomon said.

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She said that she realized her strategy didn't make her or the other person feel better. So she started repeating back their concerns, but in her own words.

In doing this, Solomon said that it forces her to focus on what the person is actually saying, preventing her from launching into defense mode or a shame spiral.

Once the other person is finished speaking, Solomon will say something like, "What I'm hearing you saying is…" and then describe what she heard back to them.

Doing this also allows the other person to feel heard, which can lead to a more productive resolution, Solomon said.

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