understanding Posts

Learning to be Attuned with Your Partner

So many challenges occur in relationships when couples are not attuned to each other. John Gottman has used the beginning letters of the word attunement to describe attunement itself. The first letter stands for awareness. Being aware when there is tension between you and taking the time to work it out. Being aware of your partner’s vulnerabilities to being triggered by you is important. Being aware of the way you speak to your partner, softening your approach and re-interpreting your partner’s harsher approach to their feelings of need or wishes in the relationship. The letter “T” stands for tolerance. This is a mindset that says that there is value in my partner’s perspective even if i don’t see it. I will respect his/her perspective. The next “T” stands for transforming criticism into wishes. Look for the need your partner is trying to express when you feel criticized. The “U” stands for using understanding rather then a problem solving mindset. It is so important that your partner is able to express their experience without you trying to fix it. The “N” stands for non defensive listening. If this is a challenge you came with from your life experience – you may need to take a time out or do some deep breathing in the moment. Good self talk is also helpful here such as “we are in this together – we care about each other “etc. And finally the “E” stands for empathy. This is a mindset that sets aside one’s own world view to become curious about your partner’s world view and experience (like taking off your glasses and putting their glasses on and looking at their world) and to be able to articulate an understanding of that experience. Where do you think you are in your attunement to one another? Rate yourself and ask your partner to rate you. Have a great discussion about how you can improve in each of these areas to boost your attunement to each other. Take each of these areas as a challenge for change and Go forth and be wonderful!