Well-Being//

Oprah Says These 3 Questions Will Improve Your Relationship

A smart technique for resolving arguments.

Theo Wargo / Staff/ Getty Images
Theo Wargo / Staff/ Getty Images

Our relationships impact everything from our day-to-day mindset to our mental well-being. Research shows that our connections with others can help us live longer, happier lives — but the nature of those relationships play just as big a role, arguments and all. According to Oprah Winfrey, in a speech at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, there’s a way to assess your disagreements that’s healthy, effective, and can even make you happier in your relationships.

“There’s a common thread in every argument,” she told the crowd at Stanford. “They are really about the same thing: “Did you hear me? Did you see me? And did what I say mean anything to you?”

Winfrey says these questions have helped her navigate relationships at work, with loved ones, and even within herself. The three-question hack once inspired her to try a new negotiating tactic after a disagreement with a manager, and the trick has also prompted her to reassess the intention she brings to her own personal relationships. “It doesn’t matter what it’s about,” she added. “It’s what every human being is looking to know… Are you fully here with me, or are you distracted?”

The next time you find yourself in a disagreement with your partner, try channeling Oprah’s three-question hack to help you take a step back and gain perspective. Often, your partner isn’t disagreeing with you out of anger — they’re simply looking to know whether or not you’re present, and whether you’re truly hearing their point of view, even if it differs from your own. And when thinking about your own reactions, ask yourself the three questions to ensure you’re bringing your full self to your relationship, and to each conversation.

“Healthy relationships start with paying attention,” Stacy Hubbard, LMFT, a certified Gottman Therapist tells Thrive Global. “The most important thing is listening, and showing that you’re listening.” Like Winfrey, Hubbard says that being fully present is key in any argument. And even when you disagree, it’s important to show that you care, and are invested in a conversation’s outcome.

While Winfrey swears by her three questions, she also says that in order to find true happiness in your relationships, and have fair fights, you need to tune into who you are as a person, and be present with yourself first. “Your life is your greatest teacher,” she explained. “When you’re at home with yourself… You are your best.”

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12:  Oprah Winfrey in the press room for the 70th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theater on June 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
Thrive News//

Oprah Winfrey Opens Up About Her Greatest Joy — and It’s Not What You Might Think

by Marissa Muller
Bryan Bedder / Stringer / Getty Images
Wisdom//

Oprah: ‘No Matter What You Think about My Life, It’s 10 Times Better Than That’ — and Your Life Can Be Just as Good

by Julie Bort
Jun Sato / Contributor / Getty Images / Brazil Photo Press / Contributor / Getty Images / Taylor Hill / Contributor / Getty Images
Wisdom//

5 Celebrities Reveal the People Who Are Their Greatest Inspiration

by Jane Burnett

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.