ERP 054: How To Bridge A Communication Gap With Your Partner
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“If I see that every morning when I work from home my partner is rushing to get the kids out the door to daycare and is 5 or so minutes late, every time. She is able to stay in the home. I pay all the bills. I also know that this is happening on days when I am not there. It is very hard to rush 3-5 Yo’s, things just take time. I think she needs to get out of bed at 7:30 instead of 8 to give herself (and the kids) more time so she can start some of the process’s earlier. Usually I am gone to work as I leave the house at 6:30. I think this would alleviate the stress or being late every day. I’m worried that suggesting such a thing would cause a “conflict” where she would be mad at me. So therefore I won’t say anything. I guess I just don’t know how to be. I really like/want to talk discuss everything and she doesn’t. I realized that her and I have different definitions of peace. She feels peaceful when there is no “confrontation” even if that means we don’t talk. I want to talk about everything. I want to work through everything and have all our feelings out on the table. I’m very much and extrovert and she is an introvert, in terms of wanting to interact physically or emotionally. I feel like we are so different. Our conversations always go so poorly, I end up feeling like I’m so wrong and in order to have the closeness that I crave I just “can’t say anything”. I’m not even clear on what is reasonable or ok to say/suggest.”
1. Recognize Differences in You and Your Partner’s Style and Pacing
- Extrovert’s are typically comfortable verbally and processing aloud.
- Introvert’s are usually more comfortable reflecting and processing internally.
2.Make Room for Your Partner.
- Slow down so that you can connect with your partner.
- Listen for the emotional tone of your partner and try to attune to them.
- Strive for collaboration.
3. Gain Awareness
- Notice opinions or judgements.
- What is it like for me when she is late? What would her being on time allow me to feel?
- What is it that I am wanting or needing?
- Is this something that I can accept? (This question may give you a better sense of your boundaries.)
4. Get Curious
- What is her experience in the morning?
- What does being late do for her (Is she needing more sleep? Is she needing a deadline to motivate her in the morning? Is she used to running on adrenaline and stress?)
- Get to know her experience more fully.
5. Work Towards Constructive Communication
- How can communicating feel comfortable for both of you?
- Practice relational communication
- Talk about you and your feelings rather than expressing judgments or opinions of your partner.
- Relational communication is very different from other types of communication that you might use at work or in other areas of your life.
- Get support to create a new communication patterns.
Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: How To Bridge A Communication Gap With Your Partner.
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