The topic of this episode of ‘3 Minutes to Thrive’, is ‘Tuning In To The Crap Our Partner Says About You’, and to quit arguing so much. What this is about is listening to the message our main squeeze is trying to get across, when they are upset. It can become a fantastic opportunity to have a fruitful conversation, with a healthier outcome.
He or she may say things such as ‘you never listen to me’ or ‘you don’t appreciate all I do’. Another common statement is ‘you make me feel like pooh (or substitute ‘sh_t).’ Have you experienced this? We often get defensive, and we come up with all the reasons why it’s not true. Thus, the argument has no value and only accomplishes getting you both pissed off. For many couples, this becomes a destructive pattern. So what I recommend is shifting gears.
Here’s a fresh way to approach this issue. Instead of getting defensive try to say this the next time you find yourself in this dilemma, “You may be right.”
Watch what happens when you say that to your partner, your kids, or even your boss when they are criticizing you, and you sense their frustration is escalating. You’ll notice all defenses go down and it allows you to be a better listener.
Here are 5 more steps:
- Take in what they are complaining about, objectively. Listen to what they’re saying because there probably is some truth to it. However, since it is often said with emotion and in a way that makes us automatically defensive, we block what they are saying. By listening objectively and without frustration, we can have a more efficient conversation. You’ll likely be dealing with a recurring topic and be able to come up with a mutually agreeable solution.
- Ask open-ended questions. Here are some suggested dialogues:•I’m sorry I’ve made you upset. Can you elaborate on this?• I want to make sure I understand. Are you saying…(regurgitate what you believe they are claiming)?
- Remain calm. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the mindset of getting defensive or upset. If you stay controlled and non-reactionary, your partner will be more likely to respond similarly. Also, we know that when our blood pressure goes up, we don’t think as clearly. Our brain gets foggy, and we are more likely to have the ‘diarrhea of the mouth’ syndrome. Have you experienced this phenomenon? I know I have!
- Ask them for examples. Encourage the other person to give you instances of what they are claiming. This will give you a better perspective on the behavior they like you to improve.
- Ask for solutions. What do they suggest you do to alleviate the issue. Use their ideas as an opportunity to communicate. You may not like what they say, but if you allow them to express themselves, and remain calm, they will be more open to having a conversation with you.
If you’re able to practice this more positive and healthy mode of communication, you may experience greater happiness, trust, and a long and loving relationship. Cheers to that!