The A-B-S method is a simple 3 rule system for a healthy, happy relationship where partners feel safe, heard, and supported. It just takes having a keen interest in your partner and following these 3 simple rules.
1) Affirm, Affirm, Affirm!
- Affirm all emotion by closely tuning into the energy of the shared emotion. Meet them where they are at. If a person is angry, show them you can feel how they get angry. If they are sad, confused, feeling shame…do the same. Show them you can feel how they got there.
- Affirm all thoughts by listening carefully to understand instead of just immediately replying.
Crucial Point: Remember that you can affirm their emotion without fully agreeing to how a thought or emotion came to be. Hold your retort and simply affirm what they feel.
2) Be Openly Curious.
Explore with open curiosity. Ask curious questions without asking them to defend and explain themselves.
Toggle between rule 1 and 2.
3) Show Support before offering any solutions.
And provide possible solutions only after you ask if it is ok to offer another way of thinking about a problem. They don’t always want solutions, but instead want to be heard and supported.