Let’s look at something a bit different today. No quote, no books, just some real-life experience I want to share that should help you with your partner and colleagues and friends too.
We all have been in a situation where your Dearest is apologetic for an event that did not go as planned. This is how it usually sounds?
“I’m so sorry Sweetie, our plan didn’t come to life as I wanted it to be”
“I’m ashamed that I couldn’t make it in time today”
“I apologize for my tone and behaviour, it was out of place”
The event would usually fit in one of these two main situations (or in between):
- The event mattered to you as well, and an apology is welcome
- The event was unimportant to you, and an apology is not necessary
Today I want to look at the second scenario; when the event didn’t matter much to you. Within the context of the scenario number two, your answer to your partner might look like:
“It’s okay my Love, no need to feel bad”
“It’s really nothing, everything is good on my side! I did not cared that much anyway”
I want you to stop for a minute and think about the kind of partner you want to be. Do you want to be loving? Do you want to be understanding? Do you want to be accepting of your partner’s feelings?
If yes to these questions, then why the heck do you say things like the above?! 🙂 It’s time to stop and let’s see why it isn’t a good idea.
Giving an answer of that caliber to your partner is diminishing how they fell and it is making them wrong for feeling that way. The unsaid message you send is that: “You are wrong for having these feelings, there is no need to feel that way” And potentially, it also means: “Feel better now please because I’m uncomfortable with your emotions”.
In a relationship, we always communicate more than just with our words and even our words do not always mean what we want. Out of discomfort or wanting to be kind, we diminish our partners’ emotions and we make them feel inappropriate for having the said emotions.
Let’s look at what to do about it. First, take a breath and accept that your partner has negative feelings. Even if the reason seems foolish to you, it is an important enough reason for them. Accept their apology and say something empathetic, try to validate their emotions.
“I can see you feel sorry and I accept your apology. You are very sweet, I appreciate that you care so much about our evening going exactly as you planned.”
Isn’t that better? Yet simple and powerful!
Afterwards, it’s okay to say you didn’t care that much anyway about this event. My point is that we are not validating other people’s feelings enough and it goes a long way to do so.
A little change like that in your communication can open space for acceptance, love and the feeling of being respected and understood. As just said, it goes a long way and yet, most of us are blind to it. I have been for a long time, and I am consciously working on that for the last few months. The only way is self-awareness and practice; I helped you with the first half. Now it is your turn for the second half. 🙂
Enjoy and see you tomorrow for the next daily post! Happy coupling! 🙂