When we are babies we learn to get our needs met by alerting our parents of a poopie diaper, hungry belly, or an ouchie with our crying. As adults, we continue to try to get our needs met with our “crying”. Our crying has become more sophisticated over time and now takes the form of criticism, nagging, put downs, and jab!!
When we resort to this kind of behavior in our relationship, it simply means that our needs are not being met. This way of coping and approaching our partner in our attempt to get our needs met though only ensures our needs continue not being met as who wants to be loving, nice and caring to the perpetrator of an onslaught? It behooves us, for our sake, our partner’s, and the relationship, to figure out a different way of communicating our needs. Our fancy “crying” is not going to do the trick…
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT – First ask your partner if they are available to have a talk. If they are not, ask them when would be a good time and get a specific commitment.
EXPRESS YOUR POSITION FROM AN “I” PLACE – Share your complaint with your partner stating how you feel (using feelings), succinctly describing the aggravating behavior, and the reason this bothers you. Note, you are not pointing fingers…
MIRRORING – Ask your partner to repeat back what they heard you say without analyzing, defending, explaining, bringing it back to themselves, or dismissing it.
VALIDATING – Ask your partner how your complaint makes sense given who you are and tell them they don’t have to agree but just see your point.
EMPATHIZING – Ask your partner how they could see how you are feeling.
GO DEEPER – Share with your partner how you are reminded of similar childhood feelings and ask them to show you how they get the connection.
GET YOUR NEED MET – Now think of three thorough, mutually exclusive and concrete ways in which your partner can address your complaint, meet your need, heal your childhood hurts. Ask your partner to repeat them and once he gets them to choose one to do.
GIVE THANKS – Thank your partner for being available and for agreeing to meet your need. GIVE THEM A TURN – Ask your partner if there is anything they need to “dialogue” about repeating the steps above with them starting.
I want you to be aware that usually what we need most in our relationship is what is the hardest for our partner to give (given the way they were brought up, were hurt in the past, and their personality). Their chosen “behavior change” is a stretch for them and a challenge where patience, encouragement and support should be provided for our partner to be able to be there for us. Here is a chance to redefine your “crying” so that you do get your “ouchie kissed”!
~ Your MetroRelationship™ Assignment
Integrate dialoguing into your relating and routine:
Teach your partner the “dialogue”. Consistently ask for and concede dialoguing moments Schedule dialogue time
~ Share Your Thoughts & Successes in the comment box at the end!
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Thanks for connecting with the MetroRelationship™ Family!
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship:tm: philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple :tm: content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected:tm: with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.