Did you ever start a conversation with your partner and you wanted to make him understand something, and to fight instead?
Surely then you know how great the frustration can be in such a situation.
Listening to women who ask for my help, I notice how specific couple problems suddenly break out without warning.
The golden rule of non-confrontational communication
There is a golden rule of communication – which I want to share with you – because it can help you make yourself understood by the defensive partner.
You will be able to tell him what is important to you without him feeling attacked. This will probably allow him to listen to you.
When we want to talk to someone about something that we don’t like, it happens that we use messages like:
“YOU forgot to put the breakfast cups in the sink (or pay the bills, or hang out the laundry …) If YOU loved me, you wouldn’t do that!”
It expresses the frustration of those who feel poorly listened to, loved, or respected by their partner.
If you read this message carefully, you can see how the content focuses on what the other person does, thinks. It is full of YOU messages.
(You do, you think, you don’t love me, etc.).
The messages of this kind are like an accusation and inevitably lead the listener to become defensive and eventually counterattack.
This type of reaction is natural whenever someone claims to know what you thought, and what your true intentions were.
As a coach i tell you, there is a more straightforward way of communicating.
If a behavior hurts you, annoys you or you simply don’t like: talking in person, using I messages.
With this type of message, I talk about myself, how I feel about what he does, what I think, what my reactions are, etc.
How it works in practice
- Describe the facts, what happened or what he did, but only from the descriptive point of view, without judgments.
Ex: “Last night, I returned from work and found the breakfast cups still on the kitchen table.”
- Say how you felt about this, the effect it had on you.
Ex: “I felt neglected as if you didn’t care about me.
I told you so many times that for me, it’s essential… Sometimes I have the impression that if I ask you something, you don’t take me seriously, or you don’t care. “
- And you?
This point is essential.
After communicating how you feel about what happened, you leave the chance to the other to tell you how he experienced it.
What his thoughts were, his true intentions.
From here, the speech could continue with clarification and an approach.
For this technique to work, you intend to listen and understand the other, to understand what its perspective is.
In short, you need an attitude of sufficient trust and openness.
Talking openly about couple problems can be the occasion for a further rapprochement and strengthening of the relationship.
Do you have any question or do you want to discuss about your couple problem with me? Write me I’ll be glad to help.