No matter how perceptive someone is, understanding the emotions of others is not always simple, especially in the context of relationships. There are so many reasons why it might feel like your partner never understands you emotionally. It could be that you’re not communicating properly, that you’re accidentally passive aggressive, or you may be way too quick to get upset. It could also have something to do with your partner, like maybe they’re not in tune with their emotions, and thus can’t understand yours. Whatever the case may be, it’s never fun to feel misunderstood, especially in the context of a relationship.
Since no one is a mindreader, it’s obvious why this approach might not work. A better way to handle a heated moment would be to slow down, choose your words, and pay attention to how you’re being perceived. In other words, you can actually have a productive conversation where the goal is to understand one another, instead of getting defensive, angry, or mad. Below are a few more ways to keep calm, tap into your emotions, communicate effectively, and hopefully “get” each other as a result.
Use As Many “I” Statements As Possible; rule number one: avoid you statements whenever possible. “People tend to complain using phrases like, ‘You always’ or ‘You never…’ which can feel like an accusation. “It’s more effective to say ‘I feel hurt when you…’ instead.” That way, the conversation is about how you’re feeling, instead of what your partner may or may not be doing wrong.
Keep It Short And Sweet; even though you might be tempted to unleash all your worries in one sitting, doing so can be totally overwhelming for your partner, and thus counterproductive. It’s better to keep it short and simple when you have something emotional to say, otherwise your partner might get overwhelmed with their feelings and tune out.
Focus On Understanding Them; if your partner is feeling misunderstood too, it’ll be hard for them to get out of their own head, and into yours. So make sure you understand them, what’s bothering them, their point of view, etc. before trying to make a point. Emotional connection is a two-way street, until you have put in the effort of trying to understand your partner emotionally, it’s going to be hard for your partner to put in the effort of trying to understand you.
Pay Attention To Your Body Language; body language is another thing that can affect your partner’s reaction to you, thus making it harder for them to truly get what you need. If you’re standing with your arms crossed, for example, you’ll appear closed off and maybe even a little bit defensive. So try to relax. Make your body as open and relaxed as possible when attempting to communicate complicated emotions.
Be Clearer About How You Feel; instead of being passive aggressive, or hinting at what you need and hoping your partner catches on, try to be clear and to the point..
BY STEPHANIE E. HEMEN