Want To Be Understood
You’ve got something on your mind that you’ve been working up the courage to say and you’re not sure that you’ll even be able to say it. When you finally get it out, your partner doesn’t care to hear it or completely ignores your point! You just want to Be Understood and yet its so hard to get your motives, your feelings, and your emotions across. How do you fix this break?
There’s no surefire way to fixing any problem in a relationship but addressing the issue clearly is the first step to making sure that your concerns are understood. Breaking the discussion into parts is a great way to relieve a lot of the stress of the situation by allowing it to be organized and less emotion-fueled. Logic is your ally here and you want to make sure that you’re being understood clearly!
So let’s discuss these segments:
What is bothering you?
What is the key component and seems obvious right? This regularly gets confused with the next step though, the ‘why’, because you’re eager to tell your partner the emotional side of this and what it is doing to affect you day to day! Make sure that your problem is clearly outlined and that it is an ‘object-oriented’ issue so there is a clear and defined subject. A good example of this is if your partner is someone who forgets to put things away. The issue is clear and the approach is solid, ‘You forget to put things away and this bothers me.’
Why is it bothering you?
The hard part is here, this is where most arguments break out. You just want to be understood right? This is where that becomes hard to do, so you need to think hard about how you’re going to say what it is about the problem and find out the exact reasons this thing bugs you. Playing on our previous example, we’ll discuss the lack of organization in your partner. ‘This bothers me because I spend a lot of time cleaning up and making sure things are neat and put away; and it seems very disrespectful to my efforts when you just leave them out.’ is something you might say to explain yourself. See, the key here is that you haven’t attacked your partner, you’ve only addressed the primary issue which is disrespect for your efforts. Give them a chance to respond and hear them out now, make sure that you listen closely, but make sure that your point is indeed heard and once you two have discovered whether or not this problem needs to be addressed, and it likely does, it’s time to move on to the final step.
What can we do to fix it?
Whether this is compromise, total change, or small adjustments this is your time to sell your point! You have built up to this moment so that you could be understood and now you need to make sure that the thought and conversation meant something. You will need to have an idea of what they can do to fix it, especially if they don’t think they have done anything wrong. A good idea from our previous example would be something akin to assuring that your partner puts away anything they pull out and is OK with you reminding them to do so. Make sure the solution is agreeable and that both of you are at least accepting of the problem’s conclusion.
You Just Want To Be Understood