This is the follow-up to “Men just want to be accepted for who they are!”, which was the most read article of any other I have written.
So, how do we bridge the gap between these two perspectives?
MEN: who want to feel appreciated for what they have done and don’t want to be nagged.
WOMEN: who want to express their needs and get things done, even if it means sounding like a nag.
I think it boils down to good old communication skills. Here is a clever little “trick” I teach my clients, I call it…You, Me, Us.
The “You” refers to the person you are speaking with, you show them that you understand where they are coming from, that you understand their needs and their point of view. And that you appreciate them.
The “Me” part is about sharing your experience and needs in the situation.
The “Us” part is about focusing on what would be a desirable outcome for both parties. What would that look like?
Let’s say that you have been asking your mate to put their dirty clothes in the hamper, and they keep on leaving them on the floor instead. You know from previous discussions that for your partner, this is not a big value as they don’t mind seeing dirty clothes on the floor. They feel they have so much on their plate already, that this is something they really don’t need to deal with and that you’re just nagging them.
However, for you, who does mind seeing dirty clothes on the floor, picking them up and having to put them in the hamper, makes you feel like you are not respected and taken for granted. In other words you do not feel loved. On top of that because you have been asking more than once, you are being told that you are a nag!
How do you use the YOU, ME, US “trick” in this situation? First, you can start by saying that you love them. You can also acknowledge that your mate has a lot on their plate and that you understand that this is not a big value to them and that in the big scheme of their life, this is the least of their worries. You also appreciate that they do XXX for you.
Then you speak about how it makes you feel. You can share that you do not want to be a nag and that you are looking for solutions. You can say something like “from my point of view, after I have asked already 2 or 3 times to do something and that you seem to agree on doing and that you don’t, I feel like you don’t care, and that all the responsibilities of keeping a beautiful home rest on my shoulders”. You can share that for you having a clean environment, makes you feel happy, clean and I guess like a ‘real woman’, because a real woman has a beautiful environment. You can remind him once more that you love him and that you are taking the time to speak about this because you want to take an opportunity to get to know each other better and learn to love each other better.
The “Us” part comes with reminding your mate that the idea of a relationship is to have fun and be consciously loving of each other to make life more fulfilling. With that in mind, you can work on finding solutions so that each other needs are respected and that you both feel loved.
It may take a little while before this process becomes natural, but after you have engaged in this “trick” a few times, you will have start to build trust in each other. Trust is an important ingredient to grow more deeply in love.
I love this communication skill because it teaches us to be respectful of self and others. Instead of stewing for weeks/months/years about an issue, it is a lot healthier to bring it out in the open.
Being passive leads us to being aggressive. Being assertive instead of passive and frustrated breeds LOVE. It demands that we put value on our self and our mate. It breeds self confidence. It’s an exercise that helps us to mature and grow in wisdom and to develop consciously loving relationships.
Love & Light,