How to use emotion in conversations with your partner
Posted 31st of October, 2018 at 12:28pm by Sharyn Kennedy
Partners who share what is happening to them with each other can create a strong emotional connection.
Here’s how to have an intimate conversation that holds emotional connection:
- Practise learning to identify in words what you and your partner are feeling.
- Ask your partner open-ended questions.
- Use statements that follow up on the answers to these questions, probing for a deeper understanding of your partner’s thoughts and feelings.
- Use statements of compassion and empathy to express understanding of your partner’s thoughts and feelings.
Now look at these examples of the steps above.
- I am feeling upset and a bit angry just now.
- I can see that you’re feeling unhappy.
- What happened today at work?
- What do you think about my idea? How do you think we can fix this?
- When do you think it’s a good time to talk about this?
- Can you tell me more about what’s bothering you?
- I can see that you don’t like my idea. What is it about that idea that’s not good?
- How do you think we can fix things? What can we do to help you feel better?
- Tell me about what happened last time. How does that make you feel?
- I heard you say that… Is that right?
- Do I understand you correctly?
- I can understand you feeling that way. That must have been hard for you.
- Sounds like that was a difficult time for you.
- I can see that that makes you angry. I would feel that way as well.
- I imagine that you feel lonely and sad when that happens.
What you can do:
- Choose one of these strategies and try it out.
- Practise working through these four steps when you talk to your partner.