1- “It wasn’t my intention/ I didn’t mean it that way”
Your shame gets in the way and steals the spotlight.
They’re not telling you you’re wrong or that they believe you had horrible motives. They’re opening their heart about what hurts THEM.
“It makes sense you feel this way. I’m sorry.” or “I can see that doing/saying X made things more difficult/painful for you today.
I will be more aware moving forward.”
2- “I don’t like that you _______” or “I feel like you’re being ____”
Which is a poor way of communicating because it’s still just blame preceded by the words “I feel”.
90% of people attempting Non-violent communication don’t actually change their communication, they just precede every sentence with “I feel”.
Try instead sharing what you actually feel.
You can’t nag your partner into being a better partner, nor you can judge them and shame them into transforming a behaviour.
(you’ve tried to do this with yourself many times, how has that worked out?)
You must be willing to be vulnerable and offer the gift of your truth in the moment and trust that -if you’re with a healthy partner- that will provide them all the necessary information to act more inclusively, moving forward, on their own account.
You want to inspire them to show up, not force them.
3- “You should get a therapist. /read X book / hire a coach.”
Especially for women, you wouldn’t enjoy if your partner sent you a collection of his favourite p0rn actresses and recommended you learn from them..
(crude perhaps but it illustrates the point.)
Instead, notice if there’s a desire to evolve and then ask him:
“What would you love to do about this?”
Most importantly, it’s not your job to be someone’s mentor, therapist or coach if they did not ask you for it.
So make some space, share how you feel and let the other person show you -through their actions- where they truly stand.
Fixing is begging for love..
It is codependency.
It is saying:
“I cannot handle my emotions in the face of who you are right now, so YOU need to change so I can feel less anxious.
I also don’t have the courage to leave in spite of recurring evidence and reasons to do so, so please change so I can soothe myself.”
You don’t go to your accountant and tell them what kind of course they should take to do your taxes better..
Unless you chose the wrong person for the job.
So don’t mother/father each other!
Observe, reflect & act in integrity.
Or fail to do so, and complain.