You’ve probably already heard this before: Never say, “We need to talk.”
Because if you need to talk, you want to be heard, right? If not, then just say, “I need to rant.” Then they will know what to expect.
The foundation of a good relationship must be good communication. That means you talk about what’s going on, what plans need to be made, what needs to be fixed, etc., in such a way that it is a constructive conversation that is filled with love, respect, and appreciation.
Saying “We need to talk” shuts the other person down because a good part of the time, that means, “I’m upset about something, and you’re the reason why.”
So what’s an alternate way to approach someone so they will be interested in what you have to say?
After I tell you what to say, I’ll explain why it works.
Here’s the phrase to use: “Can I run something by you?”
The reason it works is because it keeps their desire to listen open. This is a common phrase used in business, and is generally considered a request for help, or for their opinion. consequently, it also strokes their ego.
One caveat, if you only say it when the person is in trouble, it will stop working. Use it sparingly, but use it for those times when you really do want some help and/or their opinion on something, along with those times you have to have a more difficult conversation.
And by the way, you are not their mother. Whether it’s your husband or boyfriend, a girlfriend, or someone at work, you should never make them feel they are ‘in trouble.’ That’s demeaning and they will not listen, and worse, they will go into defensive mode. When that happens, you’ve lost any ability to have an adult conversation that resolves the issue at hand.
If you want to improve your skills at communicating, especially with your romantic partner, you absolutely need to order The Secret Language Of Long Term Lovers.
Wishing you only loving and respectful conversations,