How To Get Your Partner To Open Up
Craving deeper connection is such a driver for long lasting relationships! But if it’s not reciprocated, it can feel like the loneliest place in the world!
Let me give you my 5 Step Framework for deeper communication and depth around what your partner is REALLY feeling, and how you can both be more honest and open with each other:
1. Identify What You Want
Define what you mean by “Open Up”. Most people mean that they desire to know what their partner is thinking about certain topic- like finances, work stress, family plans, etc. Or maybe you are just craving more quality time together, where you can really feel like you are reconnecting and conversation will flow naturally!
The clearer you get, the more likely you’re partner will understand it to give it to you.
2. Tell Your Partner What You Want & Why
Now the next step is: COMMUNICATE. Far more often couples feel like they are not getting their needs met not because they’re partner truly can’t or doesn’t want to meet them, but because their partner has no idea!
Give them the benefit of the doubt and go in with a mindset of knowing that if they knew more of what you want, there’s better chances of you receiving it. The only sure way to NOT get your needs met, is to not communicate them!
3. Create a Safe Space
Timing is important, and a defensive start of the conversation is the biggest predictor of it going south. So a safe space is a neutral time and place where you will open up the conversation around your feelings & desires, a moment where you are not rushed, not angry, and in a neutral and calm emotional state.
Another Pro Tip is this: Set a rule to replace defensiveness with curiosity. If your partner is not understanding you, encourage them to get more curious as well as you can make more of an effort of explaining WHY this is important to you. And vice versa. So instead of shutting down differences, we are getting curious by asking Open Questions like:
“Tell me more of how you’re feeling”.
“And then what happened?”
“I’m trying to understand. It will help if you tell me more about what this means to you”.
“What else are you feeling?”
4. You Go First
You Lead. If you are asking for more vulnerable shares from you partner, you share first. This way you are modeling to them exactly what it looks like, while you are also leading the conversation to go in the direction you desire. So take a deep breath… and go first!
5. Appreciate & Praise
Appreciate the hell out of every vulnerable share! Even while taking small steps forward. Maybe at first your partner shares something that feels “small” or very “light”. It might take a lot of vulnerability from them, or maybe they are just moving slow while they understand this whole concept of sharing more openly.
Humans learn by positive reinforcement. If you praise the positive behavior, the person will repeat the behavior. So continue sharing and appreciating the positive shares as well as the vulnerable ones, and the small shares will lead to deeper communication and connection.
I guide power couples to build happy, thriving and long lasting relationships.
Listen to Episode 04: “5 Steps to Get Your Partner To Open Up” of my podcast LOVE 101 to find out what’s really happening when you’re partner is not opening up, and get more clarity & tips on what to do about it.