Everybody’s heard the saying before: “communication is key.” And it’s true!
If you don’t tell your partner what you need from them, they don’t have the chance to make things right.
This is why it’s so necessary to keep a dialogue between you and your partner. Everybody wants to feel heard when they express their feelings and ideas. This week’s tool will help you make sure that happens.
The tool goes by 2 different names: The Couple’s Dialogue, or The Speaker-Listener Technique. During conflict, it’s a way to communicate clearly and productively. The steps are:
- Mirroring: Repeating what the other person said back to them. This gives them the chance to confirm or clarify what they’re saying. It also shows that you’re truly listening.
- Validating: Next, let the speaker know that you understand where they’re coming from. You can see how they feel that way, and you’re not just brushing that aside.
- Empathizing: Name emotions they might be feeling. This shows that you’re putting yourself in their shoes, and gives them the chance to clarify or to feel seen.
I like to call this “the tool that saved my marriage.”
When my wife and I communicate in this way, we understand each other better, resolve conflict, and we’re both heard and feel valued.
In what situation would this tool help you communicate with your spouse or loved one?
By Matt Burton