O.K., your partner looks unhappy, withdrawn or tense. You immediately think: "It must be me....what did I do? Why is he or she upset with me?"
It's so natural to assume that whatever is going on with your partner has something to do with you. But, what if has nothing to do with you?
Remember, most of us are not mind readers.
So, you may say, "Are you angry?" Did I do something to upset you?"
Notice that this type of questioning invites a "no," "yes," or "I don't know" type of answer. That's a dead end in your communication. (Try to avoid "Yes/No" questions.)
What if you could turn this moment into an incredibly supportive and loving experience for you both...just by asking the right questions?
Some years ago, I was in the car with Orv. He looked tense and angry. I thought, "Uh oh, what did I do?" But I didn't say that.
Instead I used two of the powerful questions I'm going to teach you.
I said, "Honey, what's going on with you right now? What are you feeling?"
He replied that the computer had left him feeling frustrated.
Phew! It wasn't about me.
Then I asked, "How can I support you? What do you need from me right now?"
His reply was, "Just your smile."
I could do that! And I did!
In an emotional conversation, you need information in order to act appropriately. And, in asking these four powerful questions, you put the ball squarely in your partner's court. You enable them to look inside, see what's going on with themselves, and then tell you exactly what they need in the moment.
That's real empowerment, and once you know what they need, you can give them exactly that!
In other words, never assume that you know what is best for your partner. That will probably lead to crash and burn!
Oh, and don't worry if you get the famous "I don't know."
Just tell your partner, "O.K., when you do know, come and get me. I'm here for you!"
(Quite often they do know, but are afraid to ask for what they want.)
So, here are the FOUR GREATEST QUESTIONS you can ask if your partner looks like he or she is upset, withdrawn or angry.
1. What are you feeling?
2. What's going on with you right now?
Then, when you get an answer…
3. How can I support you?
4. What do you need from me right now?
You don't have to ask all the questions. You can choose which feels the most comfortable in the moment.
(This technique is especially helpful for you men, because you don't have to figure out how to "fix" anything!)
Try it...see how it works. It may feel strange or awkward in the beginning because it's a new way of doing things.
Make sure to ask if it's a good time to talk to your partner and keep eye contact. Ask in a loving way, with real concern.
I think you'll be happily amazed at the results you both will get!
Do you find yourself feeling hurt, angry or distant when your partner behaves in a certain way? Do you blame or criticize him or her for the way you were treated?
It must be their fault!
If only they would see your intentions were innocent.
Perhaps it's time to ask yourselves our master question,
"HOW DID I GET HIM/HER TO DO THAT TO ME.?"
That's right...that's were the gold is.
What in your behavior evoked that response?
What did you do to trigger your partner?
(You should see the look of confusion and bewilderment on our clients' faces when we ask them our master question.)
Perhaps you've heard the description of pointing your finger at someone, only to realize that three fingers were pointing back at you.
What has happened is that you were really innocent, doing what is automatic behavior for for you...following your life scripts.
We really never intentionally set out to ruin our partner's day, do we?
(And if you do, please seek out some professional help.)
But it happens...
including Orv and me.
The good news for us is that we recognize it, look to our own part in the disconnect,
and reconnect quickly back to love and support.
Now here is some really important news...
When we feel attacked or criticized,
As human mammals, we have two deeply automatic choices:
Fight or flight!
When we feel bad, we either retreat, stuff our feelings, only to later explode,
Or get into a fight and blame our partner.
So, before you criticize or blame your partner,
Ask yourself our master question:
What did I do to make him or her do that to me?
Oh yes, it really really helps to speak out loud to your partner
what you realized about yourself and your part in the transaction.
Commit out loud to being more aware in the future,
Keep eye contact, hold hands if possible.
You will be amazed at how much love you both will feel
And how connected you are.
And, isn't that what we all really want?
Ok, more about "Life Scripts", as I promised yesterday.
These automatic behaviors or reactions are unconscious and happen faster than the speed of thought.
and especially under stress,
you are fighting with your partner, withdrawing, controlling, anxious...you name it.
And, as much as you affirm that you won't go there again, it happens.
The Cause is simple.
As a small child, all you really wanted was
to feel loved and safe.
Well, didn't you?
So,how any of us came from functional, loving families?
So,the only thing we can do is to create stategies
To feel Loved and Safe.
These strategies may have worked pretty well when we were little.
What were yours?
Mine, some of them, were to be a really good girl,
Stuff my anger and hurt, and become an underground rebel.
Here's the thing...these strategies don't leave you.
They stay with you and surface in your relationships.
Then you wonder why you are not getting the love you want and deserve,
And, hey, what's wrong with your partner, who
By the way, has their own unconscious Life Scripts.
If only they would change,
your life would be so much better.
(And,have you ever noticed that we somehow attract partners whose Life Scripts work perfectly with
Well, Here is the GOOD NEWS!
We don't get new issues...
Ever think about that?
No new issues,no new life scripts.
So, there IS hope!
We can't erase them,
But we can recognize them
And turn the volume way down.
We can head them off at the pass.
ACE...Accept. Change Or Eliminate.
Personally, I go for change!
What you can't see or feel,
You can't change or heal.
Here's the shameless Promotion:
We teach this stuff.
See our page, Relationship Igniters.
Be well, be Loved, feel safe.
You deserve It!
what is one of the greatest blocks to a loving relationship?
Stay tuned for our answer! It's not what you might expect...and, there are no wrong answers!
THOUGHTS OR FEELINGS?
What is the Difference?
Why does it matter?
Hot Tip # 2!
What is the difference between a
thought and a feeling?
Why is this so important in good communication and a healthy relationship?
In our years of practice, we've found many people think they are sharing their feelings when they're really sharing a thought, which often results in the listener feeling attacked and defensive.
We'd love to hear your responses to our question.
Remember, there are no wrong answers.
Please go to our comment box below, and fill in the comment box with your answer
New Years Visioning:
Our Gift to You!
We want to give you a New Year gift, one that has created miracles in our lives!
We call it "Visioning."
It's a fantastic way to start the New Year.
Anybody can do it, and there are no promises to keep, no "resolutions."
We don't know about you, but the word "resolution" feels like an "ought to."
It feels like a "should," and very few of us like “shoulds."
We like to say "don't should on yourself!"
The difference about Visioning vs. Resolutions is that there are no "shoulds."
You can let your imagination run free.
Imagine that there are no time or financial limits...
Now, ask yourself, "What do you want? Really want?
Notice how it feels in your gut when you simply want something without the voice that says, "Yes, but..."
Here's an example from our lives...
For years, we wanted our Houseboat, and we had no idea how we could ever achieve it.
Still, every time we went to the lake we looked at all the Houseboats, we fantasized about the features we wanted in our fantasy Houseboat.
We had a great time being excited about how neat it would be to have a floating house on the water that we motor out to our favorite hillside or beach.
We "went on the fantasy ride" together. It was fun. It was Play!
And, every year for four years, we wrote our Houseboat vision on our visioning sheets.
We had no idea how we would achieve our dream.
Then one day, we got the unexpected news that Orv was getting a small inheritance. We danced for joy!
Guess what the first thing we bought was?
....our Houseboat, TAWANDA!
We paid cash and got a great deal!
We have it and love it to this day.
So, here is how Visioning works!
Get out at least 13 blank pages, and write the title of the areas of life that are most important to YOU..
Then go to your separate spaces, and write on each page what you want for the year, regarding those areas.
Finally, come together and see where you have the same desires.
Now you can go "on the ride" together, playing like children.
And, of course, it’s o.k.to have yur own, separate desires, as well!
It's amazing what may actually manifest.
When you are done, file away your Visioning Sheets till next year.
When you get the sheets out again, you can see what you have achieved, what you want to continue to put on your visioning sheets for next year, and what isn't true for you any longer.
Here are some of the titles we use:
1. My Life Purpose
2. Children and Family
5. Home Environment
6. Major Purchases
7. Personal Goals
8. Physical Fitness and Health
10. Sexual and Sensual
Feel free to use some or all of these, or make up your own.
First on our Visioning Sheets this year is a Hot Tub!!!
During the Holiday Season, many couples and singles feel stressed, overwhelmed or alone and depressed.
We understand. There are so many societal "rules" about how one should "Feel, Be and Do."
For you couples out there and close to us, take time to put yourselves first.
Understand that "obligations" are not "have to's." Negotiate win/wins for each of you.
If you are visiting relatives (Yarghhhhh.....can be sticky) have an escape route planned if either of you feels uncomfortable.
Remember, you don't have to go into debt to express love and caring. Find creative ways to tell your loved ones how important they are in your life.
For singles, or those who feel alone, there are alternatives. Ask to join friends...volunteer at a food bank or an organization that feeds the hungry.
Again, Society tells us how to feel.
These are "Emotionally Loaded" times.
We are already overloaded with television advertisements telling us how we
should feel, do and be."
Take time for you,
treat yourself as the special loving person that you are.
Or...if you need one on one support, you can call us for a private session, either in person, on the phone or Skype.
We'd love to be here for you whenever you need us.
WE JUST CAN'T COMMUNICATE!
Have you ever heard this phrase or even said it to your partner?
In my 34 years of working with couples, I've heard it thousands of times. It's one of the most frustrating issues couples struggle with, and there's a great of truth to what they're saying.
Did you ever stop to think that women and men do, indeed, speak very different languages! Both sexes think we understand what the other is saying, but do we really??
Have you ever traveled to a country and didn't understand the "foreign language" very well? I believe this is a regular occurrence between men and women. After all, we're both speaking English aren't we? My answer is, well, yes and no. I believe we do speak English and men and women both have their own versions that I call "Women-ese" and "Man-ese". Most of the clients Maeve and I have worked with have not realized that there is, in fact, a difference.
I'll give you a simple example. Since many woman are trained not to ask for what they want, they will suggest or ask “around” a request, to avoid being turned down. For example, a woman might say to her man, "Wouldn't it be nice if the window was closed?” Now the man will hear the question and think he's responding to her question by saying, "Yes, that would be great." The woman may feel unheard or ignored since she was actually trying to ask her man to close the window for her. If she asked another woman, in the same way, the other woman would have understood and immediately closed the window.
What I really need from Maeve is a clear, direct and loving request so that I can give her exactly what she wants. I go nuts when I can’t figure out how to please her, if she’s not asking for exactly what she wants.
Man-ese is hard for Maeve to understand when she's helping me with a construction project. She's holding a bolt that I want her to insert into two boards that I'm holding, with the holes aligned for the bolt. I'll say, "OK, put the thing in the thing." Most men would know exactly what to do, but Maeve looks at me with this perplexed look on her face and most likely will say, "What do you mean?" It was clear to me and probably most other men, but I didn't communicate in a way that made sense to her. I think visually and figure she will do the same.
Want to learn a new language? Maeve and I are master communicators and can give you simple tools to learn each other's language so you'll be able to communicate to each other with whole new levels of understanding, connection and intimacy.
Remember when you could talk intimately for hours?
Remember when sex was hot and juicy?
Remember when you couldn't wait to be together?
Remember when you only saw Perfection in each other?
It seemed you were meant for each other for a lifetime!
Your relationship and your sex life have become routine and dull.
You may be walking on eggshells,
Unable to express what you are truly feeling and thinking.
Perhaps you are feeling resentful, angry, distant.
Sound all too familiar?
What happened to that excitement and passion?
Do you feel powerless
and not know how to get back
to the way it was in the beginning?
We KNOW there is a way back.
You CAN re-ignite Your Relationship!
Let us be your tour guides
back to love and connection,
And "Love That Lasts."
LISTENING WITH LOVE
Can you imagine sitting still, quieting your mind, making eye contact and really listening with your whole being to what is being said? Can you imagine not creating a defense or a “come back” in your mind while you listen?
Can you imagine what you will hear, under and around "the words"?
Can you hear the entire, or Meta-Communication, where we said that words are only 10-15% of the whole communication? Tone, volume and body language make up the greatest part of what is really being said.
When we slow down, quiet our minds, let our eyes connect with our partner's eyes and listen deeply, we can finally hear the entire communication, especially the feelings. And then, there is room for true understanding, compassion and validation.
We believe that the best communication starts with the intention to really understand and be understood. It begins with listening with LOVE..
Maeve and Orv Fry
WHO ARE MAEVE & ORV FRY?