When a partner shares a thought or idea, be very careful about challenging that thought or idea. To do so may indicate that their thought or idea is incorrect or wrong. Challenging can come off as “That’s not right.” or even worse “That’s a stupid idea.”
What’s more effective is to share your own thoughts or ideas, e.g., “Here’s what I think.” It may be different but doesn’t make your idea right and your partner’s wrong. Sharing ideas or an exchange of ideas can be stimulating—building a relationship rather than tearing it down—whether it’s about finances, parenting, dealing with family, or where to go on vacation. It takes the form of “I think that….” and “I think that….” to get to a shared approach or plan.