The other day, Pauly and I had to use all the communication skills we had just taught. She said sometimes she talks or asks questions just to reach out or get close to me. In our workshops, we call this “small talk” or the “conversive” style. I think she’s rehashing something she’s already told me, and I may feel irritated.
Be Clear About Your Desires
Sometimes, I may be watching a football game, and Pauly says, “Do you want to come with me to the store?”
My male mind says, “No, that doesn’t sound like fun.” But what she means is, “Can you be with me while I do something I have to do but don’t really enjoy? It would be so much more pleasant if you went with me. I would like to spend time with you. It makes me feel like you want to be in my world.”
I think, why doesn’t she simply say, “I would like you to come with me”? That would be so much better. It’s just not what she does.
What I am learning is that I need to feed it back to her, what we call “Closing the Loop.” Don’t judge; don’t give a clever answer; just feed it back.
Come Physically Closer to Each Other
She also tells me these days she does not like “room-to-room” conversations. We have a small house and my voice carries well. But Pauly may be running water in the kitchen, or some ambient noise may keep her from hearing me clearly. So, I need to make to make the effort to come to her and establish a connection before we engage in a conversation.
By the way, I would enjoy the same thing from her.
A physical barrier such as a counter or table may also inhibit emotional connection when you talk to each other. Come around to your partner so they feel like you are really with them.
How about you — how are you talking to each other lately? Room to room? Or “cheek to cheek”? This tip may save you from going to “the doghouse.”