I recently paid a visit to my friend Merve. As the two of us talked, her six-year-old daughter was running around and playing with her friend in the house. From time to time, they would scream and bang the doors.
With the third slam of a door, my friend interrupted our conversation. She got up and calmly went to her daughter’s room. She pushed open the door and quietly said, “When you slam the doors like that, I can’t hear what Hakan is saying to me.” She then returned to her seat, and we continued our conversation from where we had left off. There was no more ruckus in the house after that, yet there had been no scolding, no warning, and no demands, just self-expression!
When my clients come to me for relationship coaching, exchanges typically go like this:
– It annoys me when my husband/boyfriend/partner calls me and then cuts short the conversation. (You can substitute this with any situation that makes you uncomfortable.)
– So, have you told him this?
– No, I haven’t.
– Well then, how is he going to know unless you express it?
When we express ourselves openly in our relationships, we make it easier for the other person to understand our needs. The communication then begins.