You CAN Understand Your Partner!

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A key ingredient in a satisfying relationship is Understanding. When we don't feel understood we are out of sinc with one another and our needs can't be met.

Understanding validates our existence, is respectful and mindful. It is amazing that most people do not have this necessary ingredient in their relationship. One reason for this is that people confuse understanding with agreeing. When we understand someone, our partner, we do not necessarily need to agree with them.

Understanding means you understand where the other person is coming from, what they are saying, how they see things, how they interpret things. It means you put yourself in their shoes. Putting yourself in your partner's shoes does not mean you go there with your mindset. It means you go there and make believe you are them.

This is the best way to understand your partner. When you make believe you are them and look at the situation from their perspective. Look at the situation as if you had their history, their views, their context (gender, religion, ethnicity, etc.), their baggage, their ideals, their dreams, their mindset. When you truly put yourself in their shoes, you can really see how they look at things and how they are affected.

A lot of times, we have a hard time understanding our partner not only because we do not truly put ourselves in their shoes, but because our baggage gets in the way. We relate everything back to us and listen from a wounded stance. Add to this the fact that most people do not know how to really listen, and you end up with unhappy partners and a dissatisfying relationship.

Understanding our partner does not have to become a major production. Here are the basic ideas about understanding our partner:

    Put your own agenda, notions, response, complaints and rebuttals on hold.

    This is not about you even though it might feel that way specially if your partner sounds accusatory

    Listen to your partner's words without adding meaning to what they are saying; no mind reading and assumptions allowed
    Don't listen to agree or disagree, to problem solve, to look for loop-holes
    There is no right or wrong, this is how your partner sees things

    Listen to where they are coming from by putting yourself in their shoes, put their mindset in your head and listen from that perspective
    Wait until your partner is finished expressing their point to show them you heard them
    If they are long-winded you might want to stop them along the way to check-in and make sure you are following, see below

    Repeat back to your partner what they said as closely as you can without passing judgment, just show them you heard what they said
    Tell them how you understand what they are saying using their mindset information remember you are just understanding not necessarily agreeing

When you use this technique you will understand your partner and you will show your partner that you understand them. From this loving and respectful place it is a lot easier to see eye-to-eye and get yourselves on the same page.

Being on the same page allows partners to ask for what they need and give what is asked. This helps partners meet each other's needs and create a satisfying relationship.

Happy Understanding!!

 

~ Your MetroRelationship" Assignment

Invite your partner to share about a dissatisfaction they might have and to try to relate it to you without placing blame on you, if applicable. Listen to them using the technique above even if they fail to not be accusatory.
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