Do you sometimes feel that your partner is in an ill mood? Does your partners mood cause tension? Do you then allow their mood to influence how you feel or what you do?
When it comes to relationships or in general, interactions. I often find that people spend time reading non-verbal gestures. Instead, of simply asking their partner “what’s up…”
As a relationship counselor, I often work with truly amazing people who spend too much time guessing how their counterpart feels or what they are thinking.
- Do you sometimes look over at your partner and assume how he/she is feeling?
- Do you allow your guess of how your partner is feeling to influence how you react?
I have a simple solution. Well the second part is simple; the first part requires work.
Part 1. Understanding why we are the way that we are:
More than likely, you are “guessing” what your partner is thinking or “assuming” how they feel due to past encounters and/or experiences. Something probably happened in the past. Maybe more often then you like to remember. This something could have been a negative experience that left you feeling tense, sad or frustrated.
If so, accept that you are going to feel this way because of the past. It’s only “normal” for us to expect what happened yesterday to happen today.
Part 2: Acknowledging our old habit and replacing it with a new one
On your to-do-list. Yes, the handy to-do-list that most people have. I want you to write down the following statements:
- Ask my partner how they feel daily. “How you are feeling today?”
- If you assume that your partner is in a certain mood. Ask. “I feel that you looked annoyed. I am right or wrong?”
This activity is simple. Black and White.
The goal is focused on the problem that reading non-verbal language has led to issues in the relationship. Issues meaning that you are walking on egg shells because you assume that your partner is in a certain mode. This activity focuses on promoting a new habit called direct communication. Asking your partner about their mood. Increasing healthy dialogue that can reduce feelings of worry, separation and emotional distance.
Lastly, remember that it’s perfectly normal to fall into the stubborn habit of reading each other. You are in a relationship. You know each other. You have spent an enormous amount of time together. So, it’s okay to have to freshen the relationship up every so often. If you found this article helpful, take a look at my new book: Couple’s Workbook: Making Your Relationship Work