If you are to communicate successfully with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you cannot be abstract when explaining something that is bothering you.
Your words must be specific.
For example, if you say…
“You need to deal with your issues with your mom.” – This is irrelevant.
If you say…
“You don’t understand me.” – This is meaningless.
If you say…
“You don’t listen to me.” – This is just too big to grasp.
Nobody can ever hear these words and know what to do!
You cannot diagnose the other person in communication. It is never received.
Instead, try to say something more specific like this:
“It felt like you weren’t listening to my frustration about my job last night. I know you told me that you were listening, but sometimes I don’t think that you are. Can we talk about it again tonight, and will you listen while we hold hands?”
Discuss one event at at time.
One hurt at a time.
Ask one request at a time.
If your partner is telling you something that is bothering them, listen for one observation at a time where you just may be wrong.
Do this and you will have one relationship that really works.
Derek HART is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a Relationship Coach, Speaker, Writer, and the founder of UnderstandEachOther.com based in San Anselmo, California. He has been counseling people since 1990, with over 27,000 hours in experience. The unique experience he brings to his counseling practice is based upon years of doing his own deep inner work. A student and teacher of the human journey, Derek has continually studied the great works of the top psychology and spiritual masters of our time. Read More…