The one thing I have mastered in life is the art of destroying a romantic relationship.
No matter how hard I try I always seem to mess things up.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not afraid of commitment.
And I try to avoid unnecessary conflict.
However my inability to communicate effectively has been cited as a primary reason for my failed partnerships.
I didn’t know I wasn’t using rhetoric as effectively as I could have until master rhetorician Jay Heinrichs – author of “Thank You for Arguing” – stopped by the Salon studio with some insights on how simply rearranging your words can save a relationship.
Heinrichs has traveled the world as a presenter and persuasion guru and his books are used to teach the construction of successful arguments in classrooms across the country.
He says the amount of time a couple spends arguing isn’t necessarily an indicator of whether or not they’ll stay together.
‘The difference is that the couples who break apart fight.
They don’t try to set a goal for what they are trying to achieve’ Heinrichs told me during an episode of ‘Salon Talks’.
‘They don’t try to make choices together – they just try to prove that the other is a jerk’.
That approach isn’t just unkind.
Heinrichs says it runs counter to his ‘mantra’ of rhetoric.
‘It’s not about you – it’s about your audience – which can be just one person — their beliefs and expectations – what they desire’.