Couple Communication: How to Be Heard (Without Having to Yell)! by Holly Brown MFT
When we want to be heard it seems logical to speak louder, maybe even to yell. But I've found in my therapy practice and in my life that speaking softly, from the deepest emotion, is what works. Let's say your partner forgot to do something he should have known was important to you. You're feeling hurt and disappointed. He walks through the front door and you let him have it. If he's like most people, the attack will prompt a fight-or-flight response. He'll either:
- engage and then you're having it out
- disengage to protect himself and then you're stuck trying to pull him back in
Either way, it's not so great for the relationship. Instead, speak softly, from the place of hurt and disappointment, and you're likely to get empathy, which connects you and your spouse.