Mark Goulston, M.D.
Spouse needs to listen better
Dr. Goulston shares actual examples of how to talk in a way that your spouse will want to listen. Use the power of analogy to help your partner understand what it is like to be in your shoes. If your spouse is disregarding your emotions, try using an example from their life to illustrate your own situation. Relationships come with expectations. Twoology.com helps couples fulfill them.
What are ways to talk so that your spouse listens? My husband doesn’t understand how I feel. I feel belittled for my feelings. How do I get him to understand how I feel? The answer is that using analogies to help your partner feel what you feel, as a way of Understanding what you feel, is very effective.
For instance, if your partner belittles you, blows you off, or minimizes you and you complain about it, they don’t seem to get it. Or, they raise their eyebrow at you as if to say, “Get off my back.” In that type of situation, the way that you use the power of analogy is to think of a situation in your partner’s life in which someone is making them feel that way.
So what you might say to a spouse is, “Do you know how you feel when that client of yours says that they’re going to send you a check, and then they don’t?” Or, “What does it feel like when you try to talk to your boss, and your boss blows you off?” Hopefully, you partner will say, “Well, I don’t like it.” And then you can say, “Well, what if that happened all the time, everyday? What if that was a lot of your conversation with that person, what would that be like?” And, hopefully, your partner will say, “Well, that would be awful. I wouldn’t stand for it.”
And then you could say, “Well, knowing what it’s like to feel so awful, so put down being belittled, minimized, and blown off, I would assume that knowing what that’s like, you wouldn’t want to make any one else feel that way. Is that true?” If he affirms that, you can say, “Well, the you can understand that in some of the situations that we get into conversations about that, whether you do it intentionally or not, that’s how you’re making me feel?” And then here’s when you want get firm, “And so, if you don’t like what it feels like to be blown off, don’t do it to me.”
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)