Men, finish this sentence. Your wife is upset and says “I don’t want you to fix it, I just want you to ____.”
Most of you have heard that… and most of you are confused because you think you are listening! So, guys, from our research about women here are 3 simple tips to clear up the confusion so you can listen in the way your wife is looking for.
You might be alarmed by the idea of pulling out all those jangling emotions even more, rather than doing whatever is necessary to solve and minimize them! One guy told me, “That sounds like pouring gasoline on a flame!” That analogy is understandable but wrong. A better analogy is this: you are pulling poison out of a wound. Your wife is tense and upset and worried, and all those feelings need to be pulled out and aired in order to be dealt with. She can’t feel listened to on her own. You don’t need to become her best girlfriend and listen for hours. But in most cases, even ten minutes of empathizing and asking questions will work wonders.
Guys, you don’t need to become someone you’re not. You’re created to be a Mr. Fix-It and that is a wonderful thing. Just realize that there are TWO problems that need to be solved – the poison of all those hurtful feelings, and the difficult issue itself. You’ll be a listening hero if you solve them in the right order.
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Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.