Stop the Games in Your Relationship

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In the previous article “What Games are You Playing in Your Relationship”, I showed you how to identify any games or catch 22s you may be creating with your partner on a subconscious level. In this article I discuss how to stop the games and create a more empowering relationship with them.

An Important Distinction

Rather than labelling your partner as bad or mean because of their behaviour and the games they play on an unconscious level, realise that they are doing the best they can with what they have learnt, what they know and how they were brought up. They are probably unaware of these unconscious games just as you may have been unaware of them until now.

Distinguish between them as a person and their behaviour. See your partner as a wonderful human being and only describe their behaviour as less than wonderful. Keep this in mind when communicating with them. Instead of saying, I don’t like you when you say, “If you loved me, you would know what to do”, say “You know I like/love you, it is just some of your behaviour I dislike. For example when you ....”

Never put the person down or make them wrong for their behaviour. Only refer to their behaviour and how you would like their behaviour to change towards you. Remember this rule of thumb, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Once words are said and spoken, you can never retrieve them.

Meet Each Other’s Needs

After you make your partner aware of the catch 22 and their and your role in that dynamic, ensure you meet each other’s needs in more empowering ways from then on.

Ask your partner what they need from you to feel loved, special, etc. Then share your needs with them. Make sure you are clear about your needs first by asking yourself “What am I seeking from my partner that I am not getting?” Be honest with yourself and write down the first answers that some to mind to this question.

If you are unsure of what you need, you will lack clarity in your communication and in your requests. If there are emotions or limiting beliefs preventing you from knowing what you want, address those so that you can discover your deepest needs, and can then clearly communicate these.

It’s In the Delivery

Once you are clear about each other’s needs, clearly communicate your request. Be careful how you ask for help, avoid being commanding or authoritarian. Ask respectfully and politely. Often I hear people communicate with each other and the content of their message is reasonable and empowering, yet it gets lost in the delivery. One or both people scream, get angry, cry, act as a drama queen, etc.

If you ask for things emotionally because your buttons have been pushed, your message will be lost in the delivery e.g. your partner will be focusing on your anger, tears, etc, rather than on the content of your message. Ensure that you address your buttons so that your communication is more effective and is really heard.

Once you stop the games, communicate and meet each other’s needs more effectively, notice the greater harmony and closeness that occurs between you and your partner.


Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit

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