Relationship Rescue: Mirroring Exercise

You know how you sit attentively as your friend or sweetie rambles about some topic they’re passionate about then you begin to speak and they visibly look like they’re not listening? Me too!

I don’t know about you, but I hate people who refuse to find fault in their actions. If you’ve found yourself arguing with your significant other or even being annoyed by their behavior…YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!! While I wasn’t arguing with my hubby, I found myself annoyed by his inability to listen! Now before you say…he’s a man, Ann…he’s not going to be hanging on your every word! I know that…but dang can he at least wait until I’ve finished one sentence before tuning out? This is actually something I’ve noticed in some of my friends as well.

So then I think to myself…am I boring? Who am I kidding? I’m not boring! Even if I was, it’s common courtesy to listen to those who politely listen to you, right? Instead of giving the usual “why can’t you listen speech”, I decided to give my hubby a taste of his own medicine. I behaved exactly as he would in that situation. When he began to speak, I completely tuned out, often interrupting him in the middle of his story with unrelated topics. He had the nerve to suggest that I was being rude for not listening and I told him he was absolutely right. I was being rude and that’s how he acts when I’m speaking. He was actually quite shocked and apologized! Then, he sat there attentively as I spoke! Mission accomplished.

Here’s how the whole mirroring exercise works:

Step 1 Examine your significant other’s behavior

Think about how they are acting the entire time and try not to focus just on the parts of their behavior you do not like. You want to avoid sending the message that you think everything they do is wrong.

Step 2 Don’t over-exaggerate

This is easy to do. When people get on your nerves, the way their actions are perceived by you can feel “extra”…so it’s only natural that you would want to give it back to them in the way you perceived it. But if you do, the argument might focus on your inaccurate portrayal of their behavior and not the real issue at hand.

Step 3 Be consistent

You have to be consistent. You can’t imitate this person some of the time because you will come off as moody and the one with the problem. Make sure they are given enough time to see their behavior and give them time to address it.

Try these tips and let me know how they work.

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