The more time with spend with a person and the more we care about them, the closer we get. Our romantic partners, family members, closest friends, and business colleagues are the people we cherish.

And . . .

They are often also the people who know our buttons and we know theirs. They get the best of us…and the not-so-best of us. We love them and they drive us crazy sometimes. I think we can all admit that sometimes the people we love the most are also the people we get the most irritable with, or judgmental of, or hurt by. This leads to arguments, passive aggressive behavior and eventually resentment. 

None of us want that in our closest and most important relationships so how do we avoid it? Is the answer always being on our “best” behavior? Sure that is a lovely intention but we are all human and we have our moments that can lead to hurt feelings, fights, and even resentment. That is why I LOVE this simple tool that I share with you in today’s video.


Be sure to watch the video as I explain this tool in greater detail, but here is the overview: When you are NOT in an argument or triggered, have a talk with someone you are in significant relationship with, where you come up with a code word to alert each other when either of you is engaging in hurtful behavior.

For example, let’s say it really bothers you when your husband checks his phone when you are talking because it makes you feel like he is not listening. Choose a word like “monkey” (funny words work well) that you can say next time he does it to alert him to his behavior without having to get in an argument about it. 

Code words are a two way street so playing off the example above, if you have one to call your husband out on, you have got to acknowledge you probably do something that really irks him as well. Let’s say he really gets annoyed when you nag him. His code word could be “banana” and that is your cue to stop nagging.

This tool is highly effective if both people agree to use it and respond when they hear the code word. So many arguments and hurt feelings can be avoided by using code words. Plus they are handy to use in public situations as well!

The people we love most deserve the best of us. Do not reserve your best behavior for acquaintances or people you are seeking to impress.@ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)

I’m excited to hear how this tool could work for you and what tools you currently use to improve communication and connection in your relationships.  Please leave comments below.



Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.

Image courtesy of 366308.