How to create the right environment to have a heart-to-heart
8th OF October 2012
How to create the right environment to have a heart-to-heart with your partner without it ending in a heated discussion. What steps can we take to ensure we get a positive outcome and not make an already tense situation worse? Growing up, men are taught to avoid saying any four-letter words around women. Their utterance is often met with a disapproving look and momentary furrowed brow, then it’s on with the show.
As for women, if they want to want to stop a man in his tracks, it’s my experience that a woman need only utter is a four word sentence.
“Where is this going?”’
“Do you love me?”
“When will you propose?”
“Can we buy it?”
“Do I look fat?”
I’ve know many a man who has gone to great lengths and expense trying to avoid such questions. I’ve known few men that have succeeded. Because when a woman wants to know, she’s going to find out. Or dye trying. Or kill you trying.
A man who hears one of these four word sentences knows it. He gets that he’s up against the wall, that the firing squad has it’s gun’s loaded and that any wrong move, incorrect answer or perceived guilt-ridden delay in response could be disastrous for him (and numerous parts of his anatomy!)
But if a woman REALLY wants to turn a man into a blithering bag of nerve, she need only say “We need to talk”.
Four seemingly innocuous words that to a woman feel like a perfectly normal way to open a heart-to-heart dialog, but to a man, it’s the linguistic equivalent of staring into the abyss. Anything could happen. The end could be near. Or worse.
You see every man, not matter how innocent, knows that his is likely guilty of something. And so this question triggers a mental ransacking as he desperately searches for the way (or why’s) he’s screwed up. This time.
So ladies, if you are to utter these words, know this conversation is already heightened from the onset and requires careful navigating to avoid it going from open dialog to open wrists.
Here are my tips for having a heart-to-heart conversation without it turning into a fight…
Before you go into the conversation ask yourself the following questions -
1. What is your purpose for having the conversation?
2. What do you hope to accomplish?
3. What would be an ideal outcome? Watch for ulterior motives. You may think you’re going into the discussion to resolve an issue with your partner, when in fact you really want to punish him for what you perceives as his flaws or shortcomings. Make sure that laying blame is not the reason for the conversation.
Now you’re in it, here is my checklist for a successful outcome -
1. Don’t fall into a combat mentality- do you want war or peace?
2. Don’t add all the small problems into one big unsolvable one. Sometimes in the attempt to simplify things we group them together. While this sounds easier it often leads to grand statements of blame rather than resolving individual problems one at a time.
3. You will get what you give- if you speak with respect or even contempt, the conversation will very quickly become an argument.
4. Stay open, stay present. Sometimes when we’re hurt or not getting the feedback we want, we either go for the jugular or just shut down completely. Neither of these tactics will help you achieve your goal. Remind yourself that you’re with them become of love and find a loving way to listen and be heard.
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