Relationships can bring us the most joy and the worst pain. When you’re having relationship troubles, it’s easy to point the finger at your partner. If he didn’t do that then I’d feel closer to him Or, if she only did this then we wouldn’t argue so much. Although this might be true, what does blaming really do? It keeps the focus on the problem and negative feelings. Blame isn’t solution focused.

If your goal is to have a loving and healthy relationship then blaming isn’t the way to go. Instead of blaming, which causes your partner to get defensive and not be attentive to you, here are 3 steps of what to do.

1) Have a chat about what’s bothering you. Talk about how their actions or inactions (what they’re not doing) are hurting you and hurting your relationship. Instead of pointing the finger and saying, “you”, say “I feel …” “I feel angry, hurt, sad when…”
2) When you listen, your goal should be to understand. You might say, “Help me understand something…”
3) When you talk, watch your body language. Sit caddy corner, a little off center because it isn’t confrontational. And use touch as a way to connect during tough conversations.

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Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.