I get a lot of complaints from people who tell me that their Significant Other (SO) doesn’t listen so I thought I ‘d do a brief post on Getting Heard.
The thing you have to remember is:
A conversation almost never goes better than how it starts out.
Which simply means if you want to get heard you have to come correct.
Getting Heard does not involve any anger, cursing or yelling. In fact, it requires just the opposite. You have to be calm and in control. You have to decide not only how to approach the conversation but when.
You can’t do it when you’re angry. You can’t do it when some hurt is fresh. You have to do it after you’ve processed the pain, determined why you were hurt and figured out exactly what you want your SO to take away from the conversation. Whether you want them to change a specific behavior or just hear a certain thing, you have to know exactly what it is. “Stop hurting me” is too broad to get meaningful results. “I’d like you to give me a call and let me know next time you’re not coming so I know I shouldn’t wait.” However is a specific request.
Once you have got your head together and you know what you are looking to achieve, then you have to approach the conversation in a non-threatening manner. Don’t start with an accusation, because if you start with a “You … “ then something negative that person is going to go on the defensive immediately. Once that happens all hope of hearing ceases.
Instead start with how you feel and why. Something like:
“I was hurt the other day when you …”
After that you have to listen to the response, but don’t let them go off topic.
“I hear what you’re saying about last week
but I’d like to talk about yesterday.”
Make sure they understand that your purpose is not to demean them but to better your relationship.
“I want us to come out of this feeling better. I am not looking to hurt you.
I just want to resolve this issue I’m having.”
There is a lot to Getting Heard. It takes maturity and practice. Sometimes it takes a few failed attempts if you and your SO are in the habit of yelling.
But give it a try. What ‘s the worst that could happen? If it doesn’t work you can always go back to what wasn’t already working next week.