This month’s positive point in my work with a couple happened when I was teaching them how to truly listen to one another, and to improve the communication in their relationship.
Unfortunately, the wife had a habit of setting up her partner to fail when it came time for him to listen to her, and here is how she did it. When she would approach her husband with the need to pour out her heart on a topic, she would say, “Can we talk?”
Needing to pour your heart out is not a bad thing, but it’s how you do it that matters most. One of the worst ways to approach your mate if you want to talk on a topic is to say, “Can we talk?” If those 3 small words come out of your mouth, what you’ll probably get is a glazed-over, deer-in-the-headlights look from your partner.
Those 3 words are code for, “I’ve got to talk and it might be for another hour, so strap in for this.” If that happens, it’s a sure-fire way of forcing your mate to think of anything other than what you’re saying.
Instead, it’s important you preface your need to talk with these words: “Do you have 2-3 minutes? I just need to let off some steam,” or “I just need to vent.” The operative phrase here is “Do you have 2-3 minutes?” That gives your mate a sign that you are aware of the time and you will work to get your feelings and thoughts out concisely. Actually, 2-3 minutes is a fair amount of time. If you put a timer on and sat in silence for 2-3 minutes, you would notice that it’s a generous amount of space for someone to speak.
The good news in relation to my work with this couple, is that the wife knew full-well she had a habit of speaking for way too long, and she was enthusiastic about breaking her habit. Frankly, it’s going to take some practice for her to learn to talk about her frustrations in a shorter amount of time, but she’s willing to work on it!
Are you looking for ways to strengthen your relationship? Download 10 Sample Texts to Send your Mate!