Saying how you feel and asking for what you want with Kimberly Hill – Love Vitamins for Relationships
Your partner has decided to make some significant changes in their lifestyle, and are determined to work out more regularly. You are very excited and want to help out any way you can. The next day, they come across an ad for a new peloton bike and end up making an impulse purchase.
Dissection by Raashi
As the partner that’s receiving and watching this interaction unfold it is really easy to start pointing out that “you do this all the time, you start a new goal, a new trend or something like that. And then you just go out and you spend all this money. And a few months later, nothing actually has changed.” It’s very, very easy to launch into that kind of conversation, and have that kind of a reaction. Because your intentions are good, you don’t want to see your partner making the same mistakes again and again, and you do want to be supportive, you think by helping them see the error in their ways or correct them before they do something wrong, you’re going to be actually helping them succeed with this new goal or this new hobby. Now, while the intention is good, how we go about supporting someone is normally where our growth lies.
Brene Brown says “you cannot shame or belittle people into changing their behaviors.” So when your partner comes in, share something with you, even if it’s something as dramatic as a Peloton purchase to support this new goal that they have. In that moment, when they’re sharing with you, that’s a bid for connection. They’re filled with joy and excitement. And they’re trying to find a way to succeed with this new goal that they have. This isn’t the time for you to tell them that you’ve seen this pattern before, that you don’t understand why they had to buy something in order to be able to successful with this particular goal. It’s an important conversation to have, and you will make space for it. In this moment, what’s more important to do is to use the framework of Yes, And, their joy, and get curious about what their plan is to stick with their goal and how this Peloton purchase fits into it.
When we get curious, we learn more about what they are intending to do. And you’re gathering information for this conversation that you want to have a little bit later about how you feel about impulse purchases, especially when you’re starting out on a new goal or a new hobby. And the fact that you might be seeing a pattern repeating. So in the end, no matter how right, you might feel that this is something that you really want to point out and talk to your partner about the moment that someone shares something that is bringing them joy, all that’s important for you to do is to celebrate with your partner, and let them make their own choices, which includes sometimes what you might label as a mistake, and to show up with and to really show up to them having this experience without critiquing them first.