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How to use body language to strengthen stressed relationships

Your body language can help calm stressful interactions with your partner. Blanca Cobb explains.

When you think about solving problems in your relationship, you tend to think that talking is the key. But, body language can help smooth rough waters with your partner as well. A big mistake you might make when you notice body language changes in your partner is assuming that you know the reasons your partner is upset. More than likely you don't or you don't know everything that could be bothering them. If you tell your partner that you know instead of ask if anything is going on then you run the risk of making the situation worse because they feel accused instead of understood. Be careful to not mimic their negative body language.

When you notice a change in their body language, stay calm and don't respond emotionally. Instead you have to be a detective or an analyzer. This means figuring out what happened right before their body language changes. What were you talking about? What questions did you ask? Was your partner distracted by something? Answers to these questions will yield much better information than making assumptions. 

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You should monitor your own body language when responding to the stress in your relationship. This means check out your facial expressions, body orientation, voice tone, hand gestures. You want to make sure that your body language makes your partner feel love and warmth.

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