A new Harvard Med School study says women reported higher relationship satisfaction when their partner attempted to voice understanding of their feelings-even if they got it wrong. My research showed the same results. People just want to be heard, especially by the closest people in their lives starting with their spouses.
Next time you and your spouse are discussing a topic such as how he/she had a long day at work or are discussing something about a friend and a hard time their having
#1 Listen—first simply listen to what they’re saying without offering advice then…
#2 Respond with the emotion you feel your spouse is experiencing such as sad/mad/happy/frustrated etc.
#3 Add the words “kinda, sorta, maybe” before the emotion
Your response to your spouse should look something like this “It sounds like you feel kinda/sorta/maybe frustrated (emotion) when you’re boss makes those comments.”
Practice this and your spouse will instantly feel you get them and say to themselves, “hey he/she understands how I feel and hears what I’m saying.” If you pick the wrong emotion, don’t worry! Your spouse will simply respond and correct you but the important thing your spouse felt you were listening and understood them. We all want to be understood and listened to, especially from those closest to us.
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M Gary Neuman is a New York Times best-selling author, and creator of Neuman Method Programs. He was on the Oprah show 11 times as well as having made multiple appearances on Today, Dateline, the View, NPR and others. Oprah referred to Gary as “One of the best psychotherapists in the world.”