Communication: How to Draw Out Your Mate's Most Important Relationship Needs
Validate your mate by repeating back what you hear him saying. Make sure you don't argue or debate them… it's his need.
· Although it's your spouse's responsibility to share her needs, realize that there will be times when you must take the initiative and ask.
· When your spouse shares his or her needs, provide feedback so he or she knows you are listening.
· People share their deepest needs when they are free from distractions, both physically and emotionally.
· As you reciprocate and share your needs, your spouse will be more likely to share his.
· Make your spouse feel like her needs are valuable to you.
· Your mate needs to trust that the information he shares is going to be protected not only from your ridicule but from others as well.
· Once relational needs are shared, it's discouraging if nothing is acted upon or nothing changes in the relationship.
The benefits of knowing and meeting relational needs
· Talking about relational needs fosters healthy communication because it fulfills the need to share wants and desires with someone.
· When your mate shares a relational need, he reveals a deep part about himself. You begin to deeply understand what he or she needs in order to feel cared for and loved. Understanding is knowledge and knowledge is powerful.
· Once you know what your mate needs then you can act upon that knowledge.
· As you gain the right knowledge and take action to meet your mate's needs, this promotes security and trust in the relationship.
· Conflict in marriage is inevitable. But if relational needs are getting met then the conflict usually is not as intensive or gets resolved faster.
· The essence of honor is making someone feel like his or her needs and wants are important and valuable.
By Dr. Greg Smalley
Greg Smalley, Psy.D. is director of Marriage Ministries for the Center for Relationship Enrichment on the campus of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Greg is the author or co-author of eight books concerning marriages and families.
This article was used with permission from Dr. Greg Smalley's website.
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