We probably would all agree that it's a good idea to have compassion and empathy for our partner when they're feeling upset, but it can be hard to do in practice. Recently, Angus had the bright idea to give me some space when I was upset over something silly and trivial. In doing that he found himself putting himself in my shoes and feeling empathy and then compassion. Even though he didn't agree with what I was upset about, he still found himself feeling compassionate.
What got in the way in the past is one or both of us feeling self-righteous and getting on our soap-boxes.
The irony is that it feels much better to drop the righteousness and just listen with an open mind and an open heart. Understanding the validity of each person’s separate reality makes this easier to do.
And is so helpful, because most often when someone is upset, what they are looking for is to be heard. A compassionate ear helps them to stabilize internally.
So even though this might not be easy to do, the payoff in mutual good feelings is huge.
Angus & Rohini Ross are “The Rewilders.” Listen to their podcast Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. Many couples don’t know how to navigate low moods, conflict, and emotional reactivity. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini love working with couples and helping them to reduce conflict and discord in their relationships by pointing them to their innate wisdom and wellbeing. They work with couples who are struggling and couples who would like to deepen the love and intimacy they already have. They co-facilitate private couples' intensives that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love.