For example, Kris and Christina found it really difficult to focus on the wishes behind their criticism. They were fighting over when to have a child.
Christina was ready to make the leap into parenthood, but Kris was not sure it was the right time.
Christina would get angry and leave the room when they would have a fight. This hit Kris’s raw spot and pissed him off.
In their State of the Union conversation, all he wanted to say was, “You are such a baby. You interrupt me and then walk out of the room, which makes me feel like the bad guy. No wonder I don’t want to have a baby!”
But by owning his feelings and taking notes during their conflict conversation, he was able to turn his criticism into a wish:
“I want to be able to speak with you about how I feel about having a baby right now without you leaving the room or getting upset with me before I’m done talking.”
When Christina had the floor she also made adjustments. Instead of saying, “You’re out of control. Whenever we disagree, you turn into a bully.
Anyone would get upset and sprint away from you,” she said, “I want us to discuss issues calmly without either of us raising our voices. That’s what I need to stay in the room and truly listen to you.”
Do you see how being vulnerable can transform your relationship and help you get your needs met?
It’s also important to not wait for conflict to happen to be vulnerable and express wishes in a positive way. Pay attention to ways you can proactively be vulnerable with each other outside of heated conflict.
For example, by saying, “Please slow down your driving so I can feel safe,” rather than, “You’re driving like a crazy person!
Slow down!” you give your partner an understanding of why you’re feeling the way you are, rather than blaming them for what you’re feeling.
By Kyle Benson