There is more than one small change to prevent an argument, but today I’ll share one of the ways we see wives go, “WOW!” over.
It’s pretty simple, actually, and it works really well when you want to give feedback or help your husband and he doesn’t seem to want help or know that he needs it.
Ask his permission to offer up a different thought. It’s also something master negotiators use.
“That sounds super frustrating! I can’t believe you had to go through that! UGH. You must be feeling really aggravated about that whole situation. Anyone would be – I know I would, too. Of course you feel like that! … (pause) … (maybe even for a day…) then…
“Are you open to a different perspective about that? (wait for his positive response)… Well I could be wrong here, but I’m wondering if… (insert different perspective here).”
You might notice that I validated his experience first. I didn’t argue or negate what he said. He wants to feel heard – and he will be more likely to listen to your side of things when he feels heard.
Have you tried this and it’s not working? Maybe you don’t really feel his perspective or experience is valid – maybe you are judging him instead of empathizing. Here’s the thing – you can work the skills, do the right thing, but if your heart isn’t in alignment with what you are saying, that will show up in micro-expressions that people who know you well will perceive.
And they believe the non-verbal over the verbal 93% of the time (Mehrabian, 1971).
Want more help with this stuff? We can help you learn to speak the language of respect to your husband! Join us in The Respect Dare eCourse that starts this Monday! We still have a few spaces left. Find out more here.
At any rate, I do hope this was helpful.
Love to you,
Oh Nina, How true! I made another mistake in my marriage a bit ago and apologized for it. My husband said, “Words are cheap!” I was not too stunned because he had said something like that other times, but this time I determined to not say I’m sorry again, but write myself notes, pray more pointedly, etc. to avoid the problem for which I’d apologized. About the empathy, I have been asking the Lord to give me the compassion He had in Mark 6:34, when He was tired and ready for a break and there was a crowd needing Him!
Thank you for the wisdom!
Ugh. I’m so sorry for this!! I’m praying for you. It IS hard. I hope you might consider the compassion prayer exercise – we experience the Lord’s compassion for us, too, which we then are filled with to extend to others. Love you, baby!
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