. . . People will never forget how you made them feel. | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.

Uploaded: May 28, 2021
 "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
- Maya Angelou

If we change "people" to "my spouse" this important quote will be grammatically incorrect -- and completely true. My spouse will never forget how I made him feel.

Getting Out of Blame, Being Right

This is why it is so crucial to get out of the blame game, the need to be right, or accurate, and get into the feelings that lie beneath those behaviors (e.g., hurt, fear, etc.).

Feelings

I know many of you are not comfortable with feelings and would rather separate feelings and thinking. Yet the truth is there is emotion underneath nearly every conversation (reactions; what I think this means about me or us, etc.). Check out "Difficult Conversations," written by the Harvard Negotiation Team, as they address these issues so well.

We can't actually "make" anyone feel something, but we sure can behave in ways (e.g., empathy) that offers the best chance that you and your beloved will feel love, connection, and care.

Experiment . . . So people will never forget how you made them feel.

Try this for a week: Act, speak, and listen with the intention of connection and kindness. Leave everything else aside (just notice any other inclinations). At the end of the week, notice how you feel. How does your partner feel?

If you don't know how to do this, you are not alone. You can learn, though. You get to choose. You get to feel something about yourself, too. What'll it be?








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Comments

 +   4 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 31, 2021 at 7:08 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"We can't actually "make" anyone feel something, but we sure can behave in ways (e.g., empathy) that offers the best chance that you and your beloved will feel love, connection, and care.

This is really interesting to me.

So given bad behavior of the other partner, who shows no empathy and care for YOUR feelings, you should instead show empathy and care for THEIR feelings?





 +   2 people like this
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 4, 2021 at 7:39 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi DKHSK, You ask an important question. There are two parts to it: 1. How do you want to behave-in and of itself-for how you look at yourself?
2. This is multi-faceted: Have you calmly and kindly talked to your partner about it? Try this format: When _______ happened, I felt ______, _______, and ________ (all I statements, e.g., sad, hurt, misunderstood); what I need is ________. Have you gone to a good couple counselor? Can you accept your partner as s/he is? Have you set boundaries? Have you been quiet about it and now it's a system between you? What's your part in it? If you've tried everything, and you can't accept your partner behaving in these ways, will you leave?
Big questions. I have faith in you to step back and look closely at everything and make a healthy decision.


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