Here’s a question from Elizabeth, who’s experiencing something we’ve all experienced at some point or another – when a man feels like we’re blaming him, it pushes him away. Here’s a better way to express yourself to him…
How do I relay my feelings about something to a man without it sounding like I’m blaming him? The guy I stopped seeing said he couldn’t tell me things or be honest with me because of my reactions to what he shared. I’m noticing this is a pattern for me, I end up coming across as blaming the man and he feels like he’s letting me down. He ends up frustrated and feeling bad, the last guy told me he’s tired of feeling like a bad guy. How can I handle things differently in future?
Elizabeth – first of all, I think it’s amazing that you’ve been able to recognize that what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working for you. The first step to turning anything around is Awareness!
If you’re feeling upset, uncomfortable, or angry with a man – your first instinct may be to attack him.
But attacking him, making him wrong, or holding him responsible for your feelings is a surefire way to push him away.
Even if we’re trying to sound like we’re NOT blaming him – if deep down we’re not taking responsibility of our own feelings – he can feel it in our vibe and he will feel blamed.
When a man feels blamed or attacked – he’ll either get defensive, attack back, or “shut down” on you.
I know how incredibly frustrating this can be!
The good news is – there’s a way to share your feelings with him that DOESN’T make him feel defensive or push him away.
Here’s how to express yourself in a way that he can hear – without blaming him or making him wrong:
1. When you feel the urge to blame or attack him – STOP.
There’s a very “forward-leaning” quality to blaming or attacking a man. I want you to do the OPPOSITE – stop, lean back, and breathe.
2. Find your feelings.
3. Speak your feelings.
Use the phrase, “I feel __________” or “I’m feeling __________.”
Notice how I’m NOT using the word “you” in these feeling messages (“I felt __________ when you said that”) – it’s very important to NOT refer to his behavior at all!
DON’T use the words “hurt” or “disrespected” here – that’s just like saying “You hurt me” or “You disrespected me” – which will make him feel defensive and cause him to shut down.
4. Stop and listen to him.
Don’t go into a long explanation about why you feel this way – in fact, don’t explain yourself at all! Stop and listen to what he says, and repeat steps 1 – 3 if necessary.
This is an example of Rori Raye’s tool of Feeling Messages (Rori is my brilliant mentor who’s eBook, Have The Relationship You Want, truly changed my life and helped me turn my own love life around and attract my amazing husband – click here to check it out and get her AMAZING complimentary newsletters).
Saying to a man, “I’m feeling angry right now” is SO much better than, “I can’t believe you said that, you’re such a jerk!”
You may think that men can’t handle our anger, but that’s just not true. Masculine-energy men can absolutely handle our anger! They just don’t like it when we say it’s their fault.
Try expressing your feelings to him this way, and see what a difference it makes in your relationship.