Communication is a two-way street.
If you share something exciting with your partner, you may want to receive a similar, excited energy. But what happens when you get a negative response or your partner just isn’t interested in what you have to say?
Think about the following scenario.
You have big news; your sister is getting married! So ,after you hang up with your sister, you rush into the living room and ask your partner, “Guess what?” and spill the beans!
But rather than getting an excited response… your partner shrugs you off.
Experiencing Pain? Make a Change
You may have felt this pain before. Getting the cold shoulder or a negative response from your partner certainly hurts.
Luckily, there are ways that you can prevent this pain. It just requires adjusting the way you communicate with your partner.
This pain doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner is feeling negatively toward you. Often, it is a sign that you need to make a behavioral change. To discover and make that productive change, practice empathy. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.
Let’s reverse the roles for a second.
In this scenario, you are focusing on writing a stressful email for work. You are struggling to find the right way to phrase it when, all of a sudden, your focus and concentration are broken.
Your partner runs into the room, rushing to tell you big news about who-knows-what. Well, there’s no hope for you finishing this email now!
This can be frustrating. As humans, we can only really focus on one task at a time.
In order to listen to our partner or answer their question, we need a few seconds to transition. During those few seconds, our faces could tell the real story behind our frustration or inability to focus on what our partner is saying.
How to Use a “Soft Start” With Your Partner
When you start a conversation with your partner, you add a new energy into the room. If this energy is loud and overwhelming, your partner will need time to get up to your level and change their mindset.
In the email example, the listener is not ready to do this, which is where conflict arises.
So how do you ensure that you are heard in a way that doesn’t upset your partner? Consider a “soft start.”
This type of approach uses a softer energy to approach your partner and introduce the conversation with your partner’s consent. Rather than forcing the conversation on your partner, you invite them into the conversation.
You may ask something like this:
- “Hey honey, I have something exciting to tell you. Are you free at the moment?”
- “Hello! I would love to chat about my day with you. Is now a good time?”
This allows your partner to transition more smoothly into a conversation with you. They can stay in a more reserved energy if they were concentrated on a single task.
If the time is good to talk, you can continue on with your conversation. If the time isn’t good, let your partner know where you will be when they are ready.
When both of you can decide on a good time together, you will have a more productive, engaging, and positive conversation together.
Learn more tips for healthy and engaging communication with your partner by reaching out to a Houston marriage therapist.