I came across this question on Quora and it got me thinking about our own experience with communicating. When you live with your significant other or spouse, you will constantly find yourself asking the habitual questions. What’s for dinner? What do you want to do this weekend? What time are you done working? But one question you may not ask all the time is “what are you feeling right now”? So here is my take on why should couples be talking about their feelings.
Benefits of Talking About Your Feelings
How Couples Can Talk About Their Feelings
It’s important to create a comfortable setting when talking about each other’s feelings. The challenge with opening up is often related to fear and discomfort. That could be the fear of being rejected or even embarrassment. With the range of emotions that we feel as humans, negative emotions are always the hardest to express. Without a comfortable setting, it will be very difficult for couples to talk about their feelings.
Here are some ideas on promoting a comfortable setting:
What Questions Make It Easier to Talk About Your Feelings
Firstly, I want to quickly explain the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions. To keep it simple, closed-ended questions typically result in a one-word answer, such as “yes” or “no”. Whereas open-ended questions promote additional thoughts to be shared when answering. Both types of questions have their own benefits depending on when and how they are asked but try to ask more open-ended questions to allow your partner to express their feelings.
Here are some questions you may want to avoid:
Instead, try asking questions that are less aggressive:
You may notice that the first set of questions is a lot more direct and may cause your significant other or spouse to feel defensive. When you are emotionally defensive, you are more likely to respond negatively and less likely to actively listen to your partner. Hence, you want to try to avoid these questions.
On the flip side, the second set of questions is more thought-provoking which will allow your significant other or spouse the opportunity to gather their thoughts and ultimately share more.