Love can hurt!
Valentine’s Day is approaching and it may be tempting to shower your significant other with gifts or grand gestures. Whilst that can be a lovely thought and an opportunity to make the best of a day with declarations of love, let’s be sure you don’t skip over the small gestures that matter.
New ways to honour love on Valentine’s Day:
Deep listening. Listen from a deeper place inside of yourself, where you are receptive and coming from a place of care towards the other person. Become curious in a gentle way about the more profound and often subtler levels of meaning and intention that the other person uses to motivate their life. It is listening to that is generous, empathic, supportive, non-judgemental, un-pressured and trusting.
Deep listening especially means don’t invalidate the other person’s experience. We can all find ourselves doing this when we interrupt, talk over, take the higher ground or have an expectation. By definition, invalidation is the process of denying, rejecting or dismissing someone’s feelings. Invalidation sends the message to a person that their subjective emotional experience is inaccurate, insignificant, and/or unacceptable. The bottom line is, it is not our place to judge another.
Remember, it’s okay to have a different opinion, opinions are not facts.
Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree:
- Please don’t make it personal. Remind yourself that taking things personally can lead to defensiveness and then arguments.
- Avoid putting down the other person’s ideas and beliefs. The minute you do this it will make things worse.
- Use “I” statements to communicate how you feel, what you think, and what you want or need.
- Listen to another’s point of view in a way that you want to try and understand them. Stay curious!
- Stay calm. If it does not matter in five minutes let it go. This allows you to reflect before you speak and then decide if you still have the need to discuss it later.
Building these points into your life will make a significant difference in the quality of your relationships. You will be creating a kinder, softer and more open way to communicate and we all could certainly do more of that in the world. So, let’s use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to spread the love by adopting new, healthier, more connected behaviour – forever.