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Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.

Uploaded: Aug 26, 2014
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

- Maya Angelou

If we change "people" to "my spouse" this important quote will be grammatically incorrect -- and completely true. My spouse will never forget how I made him feel.

This is why it is so crucial to get out of the blame game, the need to be right, or accurate, and get into the feelings that lie beneath those behaviors (e.g., hurt, fear, etc.).

I know many of you are not comfortable with feelings and would rather separate feelings and thinking. Yet the truth is there is emotion underneath nearly every conversation (reactions; what I think this means about me or us, etc.).

We can't actually "make" anyone feel something, but we sure can behave in ways (e.g., empathy) that offers the best chance that you and your beloved will feel love, connection, and care.

Try this for a week: Act, speak, and listen with the intention of connection and kindness. Leave everything else aside (just notice any other inclinations). At the end of the week, notice how you feel. How does your partner feel?

If you don't know how to do this, you are not alone. You can learn, though. You get to choose. You get to feel something about yourself, too. What'll it be?


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