Does it seem like your partner isn’t listening to you? Do you feel like you say the same thing over and over to them and nothing registers?
There’s one main reason why your partner isn’t listening. I’m going to explain what it is, how to recognize the signs and then what to do about it!
Your partner’s not listening to you because the two of you are locked in a power struggle. Most of this is unconscious but it causes a mental shut down and dismissal of whatever you’re saying because it challenges the power dynamic. You see, your partner’s doing what they’re doing because they’re trying to establish control.
When you’re in any kind of power struggle all the best communication tools in the world won’t work because no one’s really listening! You need to get out of the power struggle FIRST!
There are two main areas to identify to know you’re in a power struggle.
Power Struggle Symptom #1: Resistance
Resistance is a key sign that you’re in a power struggle and it’s often a big one that’s missed or misunderstood. How do you know if your partner is being resistant? There are four general categories of resistant behavior with clear signs (once you know what to look for):
- Arguing (challenging, discounting, hostility)
- Interrupting (talking over, cutting off, other person jumping into the conversation in a defensive manner)
- Denying (blaming, disagreeing, excusing, minimizing, pessimism, reluctance, unwillingness to change)
- Ignorance (inattention, non-answer, no response, sidetracking)
Power Struggle Symptom #2: B.R.E.D.
A power struggle also shows up when you’re seeing any of the four behaviors I’m about to teach you. I remember them using the acronym BRED. If your partner (or whoever you’re speaking with) is showing any of these behaviors, it’s time to stop the conversation and reboot! It means you’re actively in a power struggle and you’re not going to communicate or connect.
So, what do you do if you want to stop the power struggle? Here are my top five answers to getting unstuck and being happier:
- Take Responsibility
- Take Action
- Ask Questions
- Make people feel loved, not comfortable
- Don’t try to fix them
With all that’s happening in quarantine, it’s more important than ever to figure out how to connect and thrive with your partner. One thing that’s getting in the way is the inability to forgive your partner for the hurt you feel they’ve caused by not listening to you, maybe dismissing your needs or even feeling unappreciated.
I created my Forgiveness Master Class to cut through these sticky issues so you can find forgiveness for your partner and yourself and move forward with love and connection.
Resources and Links:
It’s more important than ever to learn to forgive. Take my Forgiveness Master Class and find that love, laughter and connection again: