Here’s a situation: one is a mind reader. That’s right, one can glance at their partner and delve deep into their feelings with merely one look. They are also able to correctly interpret and detect a range of emotions based on body cues, and perceived thoughts
However, genuine mind reading is never easy (in spite of how much one tries!). The fact is, none of you can, and piecing together the clues can be mighty difficult when it comes to your significant other.
While your familiarity with each other can provide insight into their changing moods—one shouldn’t try to gauge how your partner’s feeling based on assumptions alone. According to a psychological basis, taking the time to understand and communicate effectively is the finest way to increase your empathy and sense of closeness.
India’s eminent Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo in this blog says about ways to decode your partner’s mood, however, first, and the most essential thing to keep in mind are:
It is Not Entirely about you
If your spouse is withdrawing, in a funk, or refusing to communicate with you, the reason is perhaps more complicated than it appears.
Mostly one assumes their partner is mad at them, and they immediately get defensive. This can make you begin arguing about something that may not be the actual issue at all, which as a result makes it impossible to solve the actual issue.
Some researchers found that while couples do well at picking up on when their partner is happy, they may be missing out on other more subtle emotional clues.
It has been found that when it comes to the normal ebb and flow of daily emotions, couples are not picking up on those occasional changes in ‘soft negative’ emotions such as sadness or feeling down. While daily failing to pick up on these negative feelings can have a cumulative effect, ultimately leading to issues within the relationship over time.
Assumptions are Often Relationship Killers
While several people are proud of their honed mind-reading abilities, this is a strict no-no. Couples should stop assuming they know what their partner is feeling and alternatively, pay extra attention to each other and communicate more.
While one of the partners may incorrectly assume the other is feeling a specific way, this could lead the other to react in an unhelpful way. For instance, if you assume that your partner is upset about a certain thing you feel they should not be (and they are not), it may cause you to get angry or frustrated with them—which as a result actually makes them upset, and then it forms into a fight” (pretty certain some of you have been here before).
But apart from deterring this unhelpful habit, it is better to take a closer look at your interior motivations. Mostly, you are trying to go for intuition or make assumptions about what the other one is feeling because the relationship is unstable and insecure. While in the opposite sense—when a relationship is balanced and secure—you do not have to assume what the other is feeling.
Stop and Listen to your Significant Other
One of the biggest things is that you should be listening to understand, not to respond. Never listen with the goal of figuring out what you wish to say or how to tear apart their opinion or how to catch them in a lie. Also stay away from jumping in with rebuttals, opinions, and judgments until you actually understand your partner’s point of view.
You can always ask questions to clarify, only be careful that you do not try to defend yourself. Always remember that listening does not mean you are agreeing with your significant one’s conclusions; you are merely acknowledging that their feelings are valid and worthy of being heard.
Also, bear in mind the importance of giving your spouse eye contact and waiting to respond. If you wait for about two to three seconds post they are done speaking, your response will be more tailored to them and not a knee-jerk response.
Never be Afraid to Ask
If you are uncertain as to how your partner is feeling, the best way is to ask them. This could be in the form of being curious and supportive, not blaming or getting defensive. It is important to know what state of mind you are venturing into the conversation with.
If you are feeling sad, depressed, or a little wounded, it is quite likely you will bring this to a discussion. Using ‘I’ statements and being open, transparent, and vulnerable will assist your partner know what you are feeling and needing out of the interaction. It might be that you simply need a hug.
It is recommended to allow your partner to know what you need. If you do not know what you need, explain to them.
Learn Each Other’s Emotional Past
Life is a mix of both joy and pain and everyone is conditioned by painful experiences. It is always good to know what painful experiences your partner’s ‘emotional truth’ is made of.”
Many couples take long hours sharing their history with each other. Really open up about parents, trauma, doubts, and insecurities. Try to be as transparent as possible.
If you do not learn about your partner’s past of conditioned pain, then you need to learn about it through conflict—which is difficult, knowing about your partner’s pain informs your response. If you see yourself in the midst of the argument, it is good to ask your partner where they have had this feeling in their life earlier.
Part of it involves cultivating our own sense of understanding and compassion. Knowing that your partner spent several hours waiting for their parents to call and wondering if they ever would when they were merely 10 years old. They may easily explain why they became so hurt and angry when you neglected to respond to her text this evening.” This makes a map that is useful in times of conflict, as understanding their past makes it easier not to feel personally attacked and validates why they were upset.
Eventually, decoding our partner’s moods requires one takes an active, empathetic interest in the inner world of your significant other. It is very useful for couples to look at their partner and ask themselves, ‘Who is this being?’ After all, a relationship takes place in the present, never in the past or future.”
During the current challenging time, it’s common to experience anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and relationship challenges at home. While you are under lockdown and maintaining social distancing norms to help the country to control the pandemic’s spread, your very own counsellor Shivani is now just a call and Skype video call away from you.
However, in this age of coronavirus, we hope to offer our therapeutic help. Change is difficult for all of us and changing the way you meet with your therapist is no exception. But try it before you disregard this option. This is a challenging moment in time, and fears and anxieties are running high.
You may find, telepsychology isn’t a second-rate option. Instead, it’s an effective and efficient upgrade to a valuable service!
Feel free to call Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo at +91-8860875040 for telephonic or video support and to book an online counselling session to address any relationship issues, emotional and psychological challenges.