Today I want to share a simple exercise that can help make sure both people in a relationship have their voice heard and respected.
Sometimes in romantic relationships, one partner has more of a ‘take charge’ personality and the other partner has more of a ‘go with the flow’ personality. When this happens, sometimes the more dominant person ends up making all the decisions.
This might work for a while, but eventually the more passive person might get angry that his or her voice isn’t really heard or respected. This can lead to a big fight, or even a breakup or divorce.
One way to prevent this is to make sure both relationship partners state their opinion and have their voice heard. One exercise that helps facilitate this process is called ‘State It and Rate It.’
It’s a simple exercise. How it works is that whenever a decision comes up about anything—where to go for lunch, what color to paint the bedroom, etc.—both partners state their opinion, even if they ‘don’t really care.’ Then both partners rate how important their opinion is on a scale from 1—10. Then, the partners can have a discussion about what to do.
Stating your opinion and rating it doesn’t mean that you have to go with that option. But if you do this exercise regularly, both people will get in the habit of putting their want out on the table, and having their voice and opinion be part of the discussion, which is a good thing.
Discussion: What do you think of the ‘State It and Rate It’ exercise? Try it out with your relationship partner and see what happens.