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How to Negotiate Energy Savings with Your Spouse

While your spouse certainly adds a ton of joy to your life, they bring along some added complexity too.

You’re both different in some ways. And to keep life happy and peaceful for everyone, sometimes you need to broach difficult topics.

And you know how it goes. Sometimes, just a look or a slight change in your tone of voice sends the entire conversation spiraling out of control.

Talking about how you use energy can be one of those challenging conversations.

Fortunately, by mastering the art of communication with these simple tips, you can have a civil conversation about a difficult subject:

1. Focus on Goals, Not on Personal Behaviors

Everyone’s tendency is to approach the situation with,”Here’s what you’re doing wrong and how you need to change.”

If you do that, you’ve set the stage for war.

Remember, you don’t like to be on the wrong side of that conversation either.

So instead, begin the conversation by talking about goals.

What do you and your spouse want to do in the next few months, years, and eventually when you retire?

Once you have mutual goals, then you can focus on discussing the behaviors that get you there.

2. Admit Your Own Mistakes Too

The best way to get someone else to admit their mistakes is to talk about your own first.

Let’s say you’re responsible for about 10% of the energy waste in your home while your spouse is responsible for the other 90%.

Talk about your 10% first.

This will take your spouse’s defenses down.

And the conversation will go a much more peaceful direction.

3. Only Communicate Love and Compassion for Your Spouse

Look your spouse in the eyes. Hold their hand. And only speak with a calm voice.

This may be challenging because your spouse’s mistakes might be pretty obvious to you.

So make sure you clear your mind and let go of all negative thoughts about your spouse and their mistakes before the conversation begins.

4. Now Talk about the Behaviors That Get You To Your Goals

Each of you should only focus on your own behavioral changes when it comes to energy savings.

Talk about what you can do to achieve the goals you agreed upon earlier.

Be open to compromises. You may not be able to get every degree you want when it comes to the thermostat.

But you may be able to get most of the way there.

5. Reward Everyone for a Job Well Done

After you’ve worked your way through a challenging conversation, do something you both love together.

Go out for a walk and a dinner. Sit and relax at the park. Whatever it is, do something you both enjoy.

Celebrate the fact that you got through it without going at each other’s throats. It builds a firm foundation for the next time you both need to have a difficult conversation.

Follow these steps, and you can look forward to a little more energy saved and a lot more peace in your household.

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