The Key to Judgment-free Communication: Mirroring, Validation and Empathy

Your partner voices a complaint.  Describe your hearing. What is your reaction?

It is true that during a conflict, it can be challenging to put one’s own wants or point of view aside. All too frequently, defenses take over and you find yourself in an accusation-throwing contest. Perhaps you’ve gotten skilled enough at listening to one another that you can reach a compromise before too much damage is done. Even so, wouldn’t it be preferable to avoid the conflict altogether and instead arrive at that destination? to arrive there without of disdain, contempt, or misunderstanding one another?

Try these Imago couples therapy-inspired strategies the next time a problem occurs.

And when it’s your moment to speak, focus on how the other person’s behavior, rather than their individual traits, has made you feel.


Simply put, you ask your spouse if you understood them correctly after repeating what they said. Avoid paraphrasing or adding your own interpretation. Then, your companion can clear up any misunderstandings. Repeat as necessary until you both agree that the message is clear. This type of questioning not only demonstrates your interest in the subject matter, but also helps you gather knowledge so that you can react to it thoroughly. You two need to keep on topic; don’t let the conversation go off into unrelated topics. Put those away for later.


You are not need to concur with your partner’s viewpoint. Simply agreeing that it makes sense in the current situation is sufficient. Again, that can wait. You might have an entirely different interpretation of what happened. For the time being, consider how you would respond if you had no interest in the information being provided. Take a step back and attempt to concentrate more on the emotion that your partner is feeling than the details.


Imagine your partner’s feelings. Declare it. To empathize, keep in mind that you don’t have to sacrifice any of your own needs, authority, or status. Although it can appear straightforward, taking this action is essential for improving and protecting the relationship.

How much time you devote to the problem can be decided in advance. Then change sides and roles, but refrain from disputing or from going into depth. This is only a method for each of you to be heard without condemnation or escalation; you don’t need to reach a consensus. You might be pleased to learn how much more in-depth your mutual understanding has grown over time.

The conclusion

One of the most crucial tenets of a partnership has always been and still is communication. A couple can quickly create a good channel of communication that can support the health of their relationship through mirroring, validation, and empathy.