When Your Partner Does Not Actually Want The Advice
You might have had this experience with your partner in the recent past, when they approach you with a question full of curiosity about something that is in their mind, asking for a solution or a way ahead for a situation they might not have much experience in yet, when you are short of time and energy.
Perhaps your partner at this point are not aware of your time demands or what is happening for you, and from their point of view, they come to you because it is easy to ask you, as we do with the people closest to us.
It is also often easier than working with a professional, doing a course, or doing the research.
They also tell you, they come to you because in their eyes, you, are the expert.
You, have all the good ideas, and you, have all the suggestions.
It can feel flattering, hearing this; that they are acknowledging you, and recognising you for this skill you have or this way, you have, that you think.
It is great, as in a way it also reflects the high opinion they have for you on this subject; and so now their acknowledgement has opened up the door to your conversation, and the conversation starts.
As your partner gets the questions going, you begin to see that they really do not have any experience in what they are asking, they haven't walked the path yet, they haven't put any serious thought into the process they are curious about, and they are not actually fully committed to what they are saying they want to embark on.
All this is reaching you, it is offered voluntarily though not very clearly, as it is implied, until your partner reaches a point when they full on resist what you are sharing with them because, unbeknown to them, what they hear does not agree with how they imagined the situation would be or how they imagined they would be able to handle the practicalities or how much effort they imagined the challenge would take or how much energy they imagined they were willing to invest; and they start to get rude and ironic and you find yourself at the receiving end.
I would argue that this point of rudeness and irony is a great moment for learning.
It is one of those great opportunities for you not to answer, to hold your expertise back, and to hold your thoughts back. It is one of those great opportunities instead to ask your partner questions to understand where they are coming from and what they are looking to achieve, either during this conversation or the next one you are going to have on a similar subject.
Once where they are coming from is clear, you have one of those great opportunities to direct them, gently and kindly, back to what they managed to avoid in the first place by coming to you, be that working with a professional, doing a course, or doing the research.
Redirecting their energy will be of much greater service to them and to your relationship rather than engage, as it saves you both from reaching the point of being rude and ironic in their case, and you feeling that you wasted energy and time that you were hoping to direct elsewhere.
Would love to hear how it goes for you.
If you find yourself regularly going through conversations that end up in arguments and would prefer instead to be reaching resolutions, I offer a FREE 45min Clarity Session to help you create clarity and a plan of action. The best way to connect is by sending me a direct message via firstname.lastname@example.org or signing up directly via http://TheLantern.as.me/relationships
Constantina Stamou is a certified Life & Relationship Coach, has trained with the Robbins-Madanes coaching school and Strategic Intervention, is an NLP Master Practitioner, has attended Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, and has a PhD in how we change the way we put sentences together as we grow older. Her work experience includes university tutoring, charity research, and entrepreneurship which has so far translated into the TNT Dance Salsa Club in London, her Reformer Pilates Studio at Kensington Olympia, London, and The Lantern.