• Hannah

7 Ways You Can Listen With Love (Instead Of "Losing It")


Do you sometimes interpret your partner’s words really negatively…and then kinda lose it? Maybe you just shut down, getting totally quiet. Or maybe you tend to share every negative thought that pops into your very upset mind...Either way, it feels really bad and wreaks havoc on your relationship.

Most of us would never consciously choose to be impatient, easily triggered or intolerant of our partners view point, especially as conscientious women. We want to be a loving and supportive partner to our spouse. But it's easier said than done. I've been there!

Here are some of the most common questions I've been getting lately:

  • "When my partner shares something that triggers me, how can I not get so upset and act in ways that make things worse?"

  • "How can I be present , calmer, and more understanding when I don’t like or agree with what he says?"

  • "How can I stop reacting so intensely?"

I asked myself those questions all the time in my first marriage, but I had no one to answer them for me. I've since grown and learned so much.

If you, too, ask yourself those questions, I made a video for you. Here's 7 Ways You Can Listen With Love (Instead of Losing It), so you can be a calmer, more loving listener and a more understanding partner, which is key to creating an environment in which love can thrive. Click image to watch.

If you are pressed for time, here are the 7 tips I mention to help you be prepared for the next time you get triggered by something your partner says (I highly recommend watching the video for more in depth explanation):

1) Go "mindful". Get conscious of your own internal experience of thoughts and feelings.

2) Put your hand known heart area (or on forearm) and send yourself soothing care, as if you are soothing a young child…this puts brain into its mammalian caregiver state, which takes away access to the fear-based reactive state.

3) Shift into a curiosity mindset: get curious about what your partner is saying, like a scientist would be curious about what they are studying. Ask clarifying questions. Curiosity shifts our brain into a wonder state, which melts fear and negative emotion.

4) Imagine you could slip in between his ears, and really understand things from his perspective. See through his eyes for a while. This puts you into compassion, which ends combat.

5) Take a time out to reconnect to your rational wise brain, for your your patience and kindness flows. This can take 3 minutes or 24 hours. Make sure you tell him your intention, instead of just fleeing.

6) Ask him to help: find a code word he can say to intervene in the normal pattern. One client decided to try to find a funny code word—which is so smart because humor interrupts the grip of negative emotion, and connects us.

7) Shift your brain from lack and attack to appreciation by thinking of his words as something he is giving you...like a gift. He is sharing his "truth" with you.

You can stop being so upset and bothered by things he says, and feel calm enough to be the kind and loving partner you really are underneath those reactions.

You can feel good about how you interact with your partner, and give him back a sense of ease and acceptance with you. That's essential for a relationship to be truly loving, supportive, and a place you both feel safe and cherished.

If these tips are helpful, but you could use more support with being more steady and genuinely feeling more love and ease with your partner, Calm Your Triggers may be right for you. It's your lifeline to more peace with your partner right away.

What are your questions? Got a comment? Leave them below.


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Hannah Brooks

Montpelier, VT

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