Bad Timing

Bad Timing For 2 Reasons

The very worst time to talk about an issue is in the midst of an incident involving that issue.

Issues consist of things like: cleanliness, promptness, deception, withdrawal, child rearing differences, sexual issues, anger issues, caring, not feeling you’re of primary significance, responsibility, compassion, tone of voice, forgetfulness… and the list goes on.

So, let’s say you have a big issue with your partner being late often.  When is it that you find yourself talking to your partner about this problem you have with him, or her?  If you’re like most people you have that talk at just the time that your partner is late.  There are two problems with the timing of that discussion.

  1. You are very upset and agitated and your expression will not get through to your partner.
  2. Your partner is either feeling guilty or angry and agitated and won’t be able to take in your concerns.

There is a smart way to talk about how you feel when your partner frustrates you in these incidents involving the offending behaviors and issues listed above.  When couples argue, what they are really often arguing about is, ‘Who has the floor?’  “My point of view, thoughts and feelings.”   “No… My thoughts, feeling and point of view.”  No one is listening to the other.  No one feels heard.  So, if there was a way to absolutely know who has the floor, why then we wouldn’t be raising our voice or interrupting each other.  There is a method and agreement which leads to significantly less interrupting and loud aggressive voices.  People yell often, because they do not feel heard.  Of course, sometimes it’s because they feel threatened and overwhelmed.  But, sticking to the simple rules of the ‘Listening Exchange’ will certainly help you talk about subjects that previously seemed unapproachable.

Rule #1- Do not immediately launch into a rant about the behavior in the midst of the incident.  If you have a regular weekly Couples Time on the same day of the week every week, you can bring up the incident at a time when you are not agitated and triggered.  There are some guidelines that I recommend to use.

Get the free download of the Listening Exchange method combined with the Couples Time agreement HERE.

You get these images in the download of the EXACT CONCRETE AND SIMPLE rules for how to talk about difficult subjects.