Debbie and Roger contacted me for marriage counseling because although they had been married for over 10 years, they were constantly bickering. When I spoke with each of them separately they said the same thing: "He/she doesn’t understand me!" Do you feel that way about the one you love?
Do you keep complaining that something your significant other does or doesn't do is hurting you? Does this lead to fighting or the silent treatment? Read more about attracting and keeping your perfect mate in my book, Grownup Love: Getting It and Keeping It.
One of the most common communication errors that I hear every day from clients is that they say the word "feel" when they should say, "think." For example: "I feel that you don't care about me when you go out for a beer after work," or "I feel that you should ask for a raise since you have been in your job for 2 years." If you don't know the difference between a feeling and a thought you will have trouble communicating successfully with the one you care most about.
Feel refers to a sensation or emotion. Think refers to what you are telling yourself about a situation or relationship. What comes after the word feel should be the name of a feeling: "I feel threatened when you yell at me," or "I feel frustrated when you cancel dates at the last minute."
The word think should be followed by the thoughts or ideas that are going through your mind about what is going on in your life or in your relationship. Examples might be: "I think that I’ll get tickets for the concert next week since our favorite band is coming to town," or "I think that you look fabulous in that outfit!"
If you said, "I felt resentful when you went out for a beer with your friends because you promised that you would help me get ready for the party, and I am telling myself that you don't love me or you would keep your promise," or "I think that you should ask for a raise since you have been in your job for 2 years, and I feel sad that your boss doesn't recognize what a great asset your are to the business," your partner would have more information about what makes you tick.
We can divide the range of human emotions into four basic classifications: Mad, Glad, Sad, and Scared. Here is a list of variations that you may want to use:
Mad: angry, resentful, irritated, furious, annoyed, offended, irate, frustrated, fuming, boiling, indignant, cross, bitter, enraged, hateful, disinterested
Glad: happy, satisfied, serene, comfortable, joyous, pleased, ecstatic, excited, exhilarated, thrilled, relaxed, enthusiastic, cheery, lighthearted, proud, warm
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