Listen up, fellas, because I’m going to let you in on a big secret that is going to change your relationship game for good.
I know it’s painful when you are constantly having the same argument with your partner over and over again. It’s even more frustrating when you think you’ve resolved the issue, and then out of nowhere she brings it up again.
There is a way through this. If you really learn and practice what I am going to teach you in this article, you will be like a Jedi with women.
Your fights go something like this:
When you fight, her emotions seem erratic, and she starts saying things like “You don’t listen to me,” “You don’t care about me,” or “You don’t understand me.” You do your best to help her calm down, to resolve the situation and help her see that whatever she is upset about isn’t as big of a deal as she thinks it is. You apologize for whatever you think you did wrong and try to explain that your intentions are well-meaning. It starts to feel like your words are falling on deaf ears, because if she could just listen to your logic, she would see that she doesn’t need to be so upset about whatever it is that is bothering her.
The Real Problem
The real problem isn’t your ability to listen or apologize. I bet you are doing a great job at both. The real problem is that she needs you to feel her feelings with her more than listen to her words—and this is unnatural for you. Most men are logical in nature, and most women are centered by nature (sometimes these things are reversed).
When your partner is upset with you, it is because her feelings are hurt. This makes you feel bad inside, so you try to explain to her why she doesn’t need to feel whatever it is she is feeling. You want to fix it and make the bad feelings go away as quickly as possible. You take her feelings and try to apply logic.
This is why she thinks you don’t understand her.
When you address her upset feelings by giving her a logical explanation of why she doesn’t need to feel them anymore, she experiences this as minimizing her feelings. This makes the feelings get stronger, which in turn causes you to become more logical. The cycle continues, and you both end up exhausted, angry, and unresolved.
Things might appear to be back to normal for a period of time, but it doesn’t last. That fight will come back again.
What she Really Wants from You
When your partner is hurting, what she really wants is for you to feel her feelings with her, first and foremost. She wants to know that you empathise with her and see how much she is hurting. She wants you to put her feelings above all else for a minute and go all in on them.
Once she feels that you have adequately felt her feelings with her, she will then be able to hear your logic. In fact, if you get really good at this, she might make your logical argument for you. If you start a logical argument before you’ve felt her feelings with her, you are back in the old cycle.
What I am presenting sounds easy enough on paper, but it’s much more difficult to practice. I teach almost every couple who walks into my office the following technique. And, more often than not, they start resolving fights much more quickly. But it takes time, practice, commitment, and patience to learn. Below are the steps you need to take to start changing the way you fight.
How to Feel a Woman’s Feelings with Her
- Listen for what she is feeling instead of getting lost in the content of the story.
- Reflect back her feelings and validate them. Try to be as authentic as possible. Avoid saying “I understand how you feel.” Instead, say “I can see how angry, sad, lonely, and disconnected you feel right now.”
- Match the intensity of her feelings and treat them as if they are completely valid and important—even if your logical brain is telling you otherwise. Avoid saying “It wasn’t that big of a deal,” “You’re overreacting,” or “If you would just listen to me, you would understand why you don’t need to be upset.” Try saying “It is a big deal, and it really hurt you,” “Your feelings about this matter to me and I want to hear them,” or “We are going to keep talking until you feel okay again.”
- Remember that hurt feelings are just hurt feelings. They aren’t a reflection of you as a person.
I know this might seem scary if you aren’t used to communicating and navigating the intense, ever-changing world of emotions. But, trust me, you will get through it.
If you really take the time to be present with your partner’s feelings, she will be able to relax and feel good again. Once this occurs, she will be receptive to your logic and explanation of what happened on your end. This will lead to the fight resolving instead of continuing to resurface over and over again.
So, if you want to be a Jedi with women, get out there and try this new technique.
This article was written by Kirsten Keach MA LMFT and originally published in the Elephant Journal.