Psychological Self-Help

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greater cooperation which will maximize the desired outcome for both
of you. Have several plans or ideas (to demonstrate your flexibility). 
One person, say a parent or a child, may simply ask the other to
join in a rational, adult-like effort to resolve a difficulty between them.
They are respectful of each other as equals; both contribute to the
solution. There is no force, no threats, no crying or whining or other
pressure to get one's way, just logic, respect, and consideration of
each other. Both accept in advance that the final "solution" must be
acceptable to both. No one is put down; everyone wins as much as
If the problem involves a relationship, think about the changes
desired by both of you. Also, try to describe the behavior you want
very specifically (see method #3). Avoid vague comments, e.g. don't
just say, "I want to be closer." Instead, say, "I want to have at least
30 minutes together every night so we can share our days...and
smooch. If we do that, then I think we will have intercourse more
often, which you and I both want." The idea is to solicit the other
party's ideas and cooperation in planning a better future. So, don't
throw in insults and criticism ("you are so uncommunicative") and
don't bargain for changes that are very difficult or impossible for the
other person to grant, such as a change of feelings ("accept my
watching sports"). 
If you are negotiating for a promotion or trying to sell an idea,
obviously you must amass all the evidence supporting your points. For
the promotion, list all of the strengths you bring to the company, what
extra responsibilities you will shoulder, how your salary can be made
contingent on your productivity, how much support you have from
colleagues, etc. Put together your best arguments and present them
well. Don't just assume the decision-makers will "consider your
merits," even if you say nothing. 
If you can't think of good solutions to the conflict, try
brainstorming with friends, colleagues, or with the person with whom
you are in conflict (see method #11). Both of you are looking for ways
you both can win. Do some reading. Try to be creative. 
STEP FOUR: Both of you present your plans for resolving the
conflict; try to integrate the best of both plans. Or, make a fair
offer or express a request. Negotiate the differences.
Don't present your ideas as the "ideal solution," be tentative and
honestly welcome different or better ideas. Nevertheless, clearly state
the logical reasons for the plans or offer you are proposing. Make it
obvious that you have considered the other person's needs and
preferences. When indicating the outcomes you want, don't just say
you want something because it is to your advantage, e.g. "I need a
raise because I bought a new car" or "I have to have more time to do
the paper because I'm social chairman in my fraternity." Word your
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