Often times, we’ll either keep quiet so as not to rock the boat…or end up unleashing our emotions in a way that makes a man get defensive or shut down.
But I’m here to tell you that there’s a way to speak your truth AND bring him closer to you. It’s what happens when, instead of speaking your mind, you speak your HEART. Let me show you what I mean.
WHY WHAT YOU NORMALLY SAY PUSHES HIM AWAY
Say a man always leaves it to the last minute to ask you out. You don’t want to call him on it because you’re worried he’ll think you’re too high maintenance and it will push him away. So you end up keeping your schedule open in order to fit him in when he does call. What ends up happening here is that you start to build up resentment and anger about the situation until it reaches a point where you can’t take it anymore. You might come out with something like, “Why don’t you ever make plans with me in advance?!”
When you express your feelings like this, he feels attacked and isn’t inspired to please you. You’re focusing on his behavior, and he instantly becomes defensive. He can’t hear you. You need a simple shift in how you relate to him.
STEP 1: REFOCUS FROM WHAT HE’S DOING TO WHAT YOU’RE FEELING
When you find yourself focused on what it is that he’s doing that’s so upsetting to you, do this: instead of telling him about what he’s doing, share with him what it is you need and how you feel about what you’re getting. In other words, instead of “Why didn’t you give me more notice?”, you would say, “I feel really disappointed when we don’t plan ahead. I feel like I’m setting myself up to be disappointed, and I don’t want to feel that way with you.”
Do you see the difference? You’re not pointing fingers at anyone here. You’re merely observing and commenting on the situation from a FEELING place. And you’re letting him know this is a dialogue rather than an attack. When you do this, there’s no need for him to be defensive.
STEP 2: APPRECIATE HIM AND INVITE HIS PARTICIPATION
Now, no matter what he says, you go to appreciation and ask for his input. That’s right. Even if you feel like he’s still not getting it, you say “Thank you for listening. I’m feeling curious – what is it that you want? What kind of contact and continuity do you want from this relationship?”
And then you listen to him! This kind of approach is completely disarming to a man, because he doesn’t feel like the bad guy. You’re making him feel like you’re a team – that you’re in it together – and, moreover, that you TRUST him to want to make you happy.
Shifting your perspective from one of blame to one of appreciation takes practice. But the rewards for it are an adoring man who values you and is happy to please you. Try it the next time you need to communicate something difficult to a man, and watch how it instantly helps you connect with his heart so he can really listen to you.
Thanks for reading this first step to better relationships. It’s now up to you to take the next step and see what The Modern Siren has for you.