Developing a Deeper Communication with Each Other (Mirroring)
When couples have been dating for a while and become more comfortable with each other, they often start to share their feelings and opinions on a deeper level. As trust is built, couples feel more comfortable disagreeing with each other.
This is a healthy and much needed phase in developing relationships, but can often cause problems. Couples without adequate relationship tools need to learn how to disagree without turning the conversation into a battle of wills.
Imago Relationship Therapy shows people how to use Mirroring to learn to listen and empathize with their partners while developing a deeper level of communication.
How does mirroring your partner’s feelings, or having your feelings mirrored increase intimacy and improve relationships?
Obviously you enjoy being with your partner and want to continue the relationship. But what if when a certain subject comes up you two have totally opposite points of view? What if no matter how many times you explained your point of view your partner does not want to hear it? You think you love him, but somewhere deep in the back of your mind you wonder, “What happens if he is never interested in what I have to say? Where will this take our relationship down the road?
Would you feel better if he showed you that he understood your point of view, listened to it, but thinks differently about it? If you did the same for your partner, could you benefit by understanding his point of view, rather than just dismissing it?
Which scenario feels better to you, A or B?
A, You tell your partner your opinion about a particular movie, and he tells you that he disagrees. Then he proceeds to tell you why you should think a different way about the movie. How do you feel?
B. You tell your partner your opinion about a particular movie. He disagrees with you, but does not want to invalidate you; so he mirrors what he heard you say: “So you believe that the hero was not interested in the heroine’s feelings in your example, and that made you feel angry towards him? Can you tell me more?”
You then go on to explain why, and even though your partner continues to disagree, he will continue to ask, “Can you tell me more about why you feel that way? Again, you feel like your partner cares about what you said.
Which scenario resonates for you? Why? How did each one make you feel?
When mirroring, keep asking “Is there more?” or “Can you tell me more?” until there is nothing left to share.
This is what Mirroring is really about. You may never agree on a certain subject but knowing your partner understands why you feel the way you do will make all of the difference.
If you were to use mirroring to resolve a conflict, it takes time and is not always easy, but leaves you with a feeling of understanding.
If there is a conflict, listen to your partner’s feelings and when she is done sharing, express that you understand how she feels and ask “Is there more?”
After you had mirrored your partner’s feelings, and continue to ask, “Is there more?” until she is finished, it will be her turn to mirror you. This might take a while, and therefore, you will need to plan at least 60 minutes to talk about this subject.
But after you are both through and have presented your point of view, you would be in the unique position of understanding each other at a deeper level. It is also possible that you might come out of the discussion with a different opinion. But even if you do not, you will be beginning to know each other in a way which ultimately leads to personal intimacy.
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