Understanding and intimacy

November 4, 2012

One of the most important things that brings us closer to one another is when we feel heard. When conflicts arise we need tools to make sure we clearly hear each other. When we have heard what has been said, then we have a chance to understand and be understood.

Often couples seek agreement in conflict. In reality, we seldom entirely agree with another’s opinions, but we can seek to understand where they are coming from. Most all of us love to talk about our favorite subject (ourselves!) and enjoy it when others give us attention. Even when we disagree with our partner, both benefit from listening to one’s story and how they arrived there. We deepen intimacy (openness to share feelings with one another) when we listen without interrupting.

Another tool that helps us feel closer to our partner is using “I” instead of “you” language. “I” gives our partner the gift of discovering what is going on inside us, while “you” often causes another to feel accused of wrongdoing.

Intimacy is built when we reveal what is going on inside our minds and hearts. Thoughts (from the mind) reveal our opinions while feelings (from the heart) reveal our gladness or sadness or curiosity. We need to hear both from our partner and our partner needs to hear both from us.

Another great tool that works for couples is a simple and effective conflict resolution process. I will show you that nifty tool in my next blog.

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