5. Relate. Try stepping into their shoes and validating their experience. You could say something along the lines of, "You make sense because ______," "I can see how you could see it that way," "I can see what you are saying..." or, "I imagine that you could also be feeling ______." You can understand their experience without it being your experience. This is a subtlety that most of us humans miss and it costs us dearly in our relationships.
Of course, none of this applies when you are in serious emotional or physical danger. Get to safety as your first priority. All my suggestions are for perceived threats, not for real ones.
Although unintentional, Freezing, Fighting and Fleeing can have the effect on the other person of leaving them feeling unheard and/or unseen. Putting up your dukes can cause them to put up theirs, their own version of Freeze, Fight, or Flee. Then you're in a skirmish or a war, rather than a conversation or an intimate interaction. Avoiding Your Pain Cuts Off Your Passion
So, what is the key to getting along with human beings? See and hear them...truly! Do the counterintuitive work of understanding them. Step into their shoes and validate their reality. No matter the bluster or shine covering it up, all that any one of us really and truly wants is to be seen, heard, understood and validated.
So next time conflict runs you down, do the opposite of what your animal nature is screaming at you to do. Instead of Freezing, channel it. Instead of Fighting, turn into it. Instead of Fleeing, face it.
LiYana Silver, CHC, RYT, MaNLP, has been called many names: "A relationship magician," "The archangel of intimacy, love, sensuality and evolution," "...witty and wise..." "... a bright light on The Path..." "A gifted teacher, coach and relationship expert with a huge heart and an obvious commitment to making a difference in this world by supporting more loving, healthy and fulfilling relationships." She's also been called a relationship expert, master coach and advocate for switched-on women world-wide. LiYana maintains a private practice, speaks nationally, has appeared on dozens of radio and TV shows, maintains her website and business, http://www.love3point0.com (because 1.0 and 2.0 aren't working so well) and writes for various magazines and blogs, including YourTango.com.
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