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I was sooooo excited to have my first in-person event since March, it felt so great even though it was a tiny group of just 17 people. But no matter the size there is always value and learning and support to be had.
Here’s my favourite story from the half-day CEO retreat. It took a lot of courage for this successful businessman to share such a personal issue in front of his peers but he choose to speak up and boy was he ever glad he did. Below I’m reenacting the interaction with his wife that he told us about…
Man – Sigh.
Wife – What’s wrong?
Wife – What’s wrong?
Man – NOTHING.
Wife – Well, you sighed so there must be something wrong.
Man – Do you really want to hear about …and he starts off in a harsh voice about the work issues he is dealing with.
Wife – I guess I’m going to bed then (hurt and sad)
Man – Feels bad about how he treated her when it wasn’t her fault at all.
I ask him how often this has happened, he replies ‘about 300’.
I ask him how he would feel if after he sighed his wife came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his neck and said, ‘You are loved’ or ‘I’m here for you’.
I could see his body relax as he said, ‘that would feel so good.’
FACT – no matter how much they love you or how long they’ve known you, they can’t read your mind!
SUGGESTION – Start a private conversation while walking or driving or dining when neither person is stressed or upset. For this gentleman, it may sound like this…
Man – Honey, you know sometimes when I’m working and you hear me sigh.
Wife – Yes.
Man – And you keep asking me what’s wrong and I keep saying nothing until I finally get mad at you and then we are both upset.
Wife – Yes
Man – I was thinking about what would be really helpful to me at times like that, would you like me to share that with you?
Wife – YES!!!!
Man – Well, I thought of 3 things, maybe we could talk more about it and you may have some good ideas to share too but here are mine to get us started. It would help me if you…rubbed my shoulders or put on some calming music or just wrapped your arms around my neck and remind me that you love me.
Etc, etc, etc.
TRUTH – when we are in that ‘zone’, our partners can’t help us with the actual issue but they can support us in ways that will ease our stress. They want to support us.
HELP your people help you, prepare them ahead of time with some ideas of what to do. Your life, and theirs is going to get a whole lot easier and happier.
Let me know how it goes, as always, I’m cheering for you. Steph 🙂