Hello and Welcome to Encounter No. 2 – Loving Listening
When we want to ask our partner to do something that is really important to us, we can all too often not mention it and get resentful if they don’t do it. Or we ask for it at a time that may be mixed up with other things and so it may not get heard properly. This Encounter surrounds a special request with a safe Loving Listening format just for itself .
Take a look at the video first and then set yourselves a date and time for this, or it may easily get forgotten in all the busyness of life.
As always, both take the time to meet in your special space and settle down together. You will need approximately 40-50 mins.
The text below will also help you to follow the specific format for this Encounter:
1. Each of you close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths. When you are relaxed and settled, let yourself become aware of something you would like to ask of your partner that is really important to you. Get in touch with your own feelings about what makes this so valuable to you. Focus on your emotions, sensations and hopes, rather than any blame towards your partner. And imagine how you would feel if this actually happened; what would it be like for you?
2. Then, when you are both ready, open your eyes and make eye contact with each other. Continue to breathe slowly as you stay connected.
3. Now, one of you is going to do the speaking first. Begin by telling your partner all about this desire you have and let him/her know what makes it so important for you and how it affects your feelings. Maybe it relates to an experience in your past that gets triggered in the present… Remember to focus on yourself, what you are asking for and your related feelings. Complete your sharing with a Clear, Uncomplicated and Specific request that your partner can understand and do, eg. “I would like you to come to bed at the same time as me four days out of seven”. Or “please can you get home by the time the kids are in the bath”.
4. The job of the listener is to totally listen, without any interruption. Be completely there for your partner and when they are finished you can affirm what they say, eg “I can really hear that you are sad about our distance and would love us to be closer”. Or “ I can hear that you really value me coming home from work earlier because you love sharing family time with me” . No need to give suggestions and solutions. Be a loving listener; that’s all you need to do. Also make sure you let your partner know that you have really heard their clear request, so affirm that as well. Check if you have the correct picture…there may be some clarifying or small changes needed. Take your time. No rush.
5. Listener, when all is clear and your partner feels fully heard, now give your response from your heart. Tune into your caring and generosity and let your partner know if you can meet this request, hopefully with a Yes. If it is more of a Maybe, you might like to gently suggest you talk about it together another time. It’s important NOT to get into a two way discussion in the encounter space.
Before changing over, take a few minutes space to both get relaxed and settled again.
6. Now, change over the speaking and listening positions. Again, take it slowly and keep in touch with owning your own feelings and being non-blaming. Plus being a loving listener and affirming your partner in exactly the same way that is laid out above.
Finish with a Melting Hug in which you hold one another close and breathe together for a minute or two.
PS. Try not to get bogged down in long conversations after the Loving Listening but if the issues brought up need talking about, make some time to do this next day if you can. Again, listen and support each other as lovingly as possible. Acceptance of who your partner is and their needs, is important to each of you and your relationship.
Your Encounter 3 is Conscious Touch. You can make a date for this one around 20th December… just in time for Christmas!
I would love to hear from you too once you’ve done the exercise, so please do leave your comments!
With love to you and your relationship,