Sticky Sweet Negotiation: 7 steps to radical self-awareness (+ simpatico exchanges)

a couple arguing

Negotiation is like a muscle — use it daily, and it’ll get beautifully toned and powerful. But neglect it, and it’ll be weak and useless when confrontation strikes.

Strengthening your negotiation muscle leads to deeper self-awareness, angst-free communication, and a greater appreciation for your partner’s perspective — and unique thought patterns.

To prepare for a round of hardcore negotiation, start with a warm-up stretch.  (Or maybe a mani/pedi.  They do wonders.  Can I get a witness?)

Grab a pen and a pad of paper, and write down the following elements.

  1. What do I want?
  2. How important is this to me?
  3. Am I asking my partner to make a sacrifice?
  4. How am I willing to bend, in return?
  5. How can I make it easier for my partner to say YES?
  6. What’s the worst-case scenario if he says NO?
  7. If we can’t reach a resolution, how will it affect our relationship?

Ready to initiate the negotiation?

Stick to the facts, and spare him the details.
Men and women absorb information differently, and right now, he only needs to know the most pertinent information. Share what you need (or want) and WHY — as swiftly and concisely as possible. By getting straight to the point (and saving the blow-by-blow for your girlfriends) you’ll expedite the path to resolution, and create space for him to respond with clarity.

And perhaps most importantly: be kind. It’s amazing how a little extra honey can pave the way to delicious resolution + lovin’.


Got some thoughts, insights, gems of wisdom on the subject?  Come on over and leave your comments below!


I’m a Los Angeles based relationship + life coach. I offer a sharp combination of keen insight, know-how + intuition.   Want more life + dating advice?  Jump on my newsletter.   Interested in laser focused one-on-one treatment?   Hire me.  You won’t regret it.

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© 2011 Danielle Dowling