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3 Practical tips to stop sucking at communicating with your partner

October 10, 2023

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1- TRULY SEE THE OTHER ❤️‍🔥

90% of my clients share a common area of grief:

Not feeling seen and understood.

To truly listen to someone means they feel heard in their pain.

Not fixed..

Not given advice to..

Definitely not judged or shamed..

Seen & heard.

Reflecting what you hear helps them soothe and regulate their nervous system.

Ask:

“Is there more you’d like to share with me in this moment or do you feel complete with your share?”

Then:

“Can I reflect back what I heard? I want to make sure that I understood you fully.”

Proceed to go over their share in as much detail as possible, using their own words whenever you can.

And then:

“Did I get that right? or is there something I missed?”

Now, that’s only half the job.

You must exercise compassion and put yourself in their shoes:

“I can imagine how hard it must have been for you to be in connection with me recently, while you were tired and having to face a grumpy partner when you arrived from work..”

Keys:

“I can imagine how _______ must have felt like for you..”

“In the face of _________(what they had to deal with/stand against in relationship with you)”

And if appropriate, wrap up with an apology.

“I am sorry I hurt you.

From now one I will _____.”

(an apology is made of 2 parts: 1- Acknowledgement 2- new commitment for transformed behaviour )

This alone will RADICALLY transform your relationship.

Most of the time we don’t want to be fixed, we just want to know that our partner understands our pain and cares.

Caring is not giving advice.

Caring is being present with each other.

(Advice can come later)

2- It’s NEVER about you!

When having a difficult conversation most people take very personal their partner’s frustrations and pain.

Your loved one says “I don’t feel fulfilled..”

and you hear “you’re not good enough!”

Your unresolved childhood wounds become the filter through which you “listen”.

This is the root of every argument:

Making it about you and letting your own fears and triggers run the show.

Both partners usually do this at the same time, then you end up in back & forths that just sink the ship deeper and deeper with every word, gesture and silence shared..

So always remind yourself that your partner’s pain is about THEM and their world.

And put yourself (and your own pain) temporarily aside and listen with curiosity.

Never try to hijack your partner’s vulnerable share with your own projections and pain that arises after hearing them share.

Take turns.

3- Share your truth; don’t spit it out.

Just because your partner is listening it doesn’t mean you get to rant, vent, yell and lose yourself in your emotional storms.

Your partner is not your punching bag 🥊

& your intensity is not for them to parent you through..

Of course, sometimes you will care for each other and create safe spaces where unfiltered expression is invited..

But never assume or expect for that to be their role.

You don’t go losing your mind and yelling at your employees or peers, so why would you do that with the person you live with?

Hint: Lack of respect.

Respect means to honour and defend the integrity of the communication, connection and relationship above all else.

It means to protect it as sacred…

Protect from whom?

Yourself, mostly.

When you respect your partner you put the wellbeing of them and the relationship above your need to vent it out and throw a tantrum.

Hire professionals, do some breathwork, go scream into a forest..

And then come back into the conversation once you’ve managed to regulate yourself to the degree to which a conscious, productive conversation can be had.

Nobody thinks clearly when triggered so it is okay to take breaks, breathe in and come back.

Also, ALWAYS check in before coming up with a difficult conversation.

“Hey love, is this a good time to share something that’s been weighing heavy on my heart lately?”

That’s respect.

Don’t just come to them and spit it in their face as they’re in the middle of a workday or doing something else.

Be willing to receive a “Not right now” for an answer and trust that the best way to navigate Chaos is when there’s Structure present.