How to empathize before reacting to conflict from the experts
If you’ve ever found yourself getting defensive with a partner, this may sound all too familiar: your partner has a problem with something you’ve done, and before you think about how they feel, your first knee-jerk reaction is to defend yourself .
But according to licensed couples counselor Jessa Zimmerman, Massachusetts, CST, while we all have some capacity and desire to protect ourselves, this reaction can lead to additional problems for your relationship.
As she previously told mindbodygreen, instead of getting defensive, “listen to what they’re saying and make sure you understand it from their point of view,” adding that don’t stop “until you put yourself in their shoes and see.” . it’s from their worldview.”
And the main thing, of course, is to do it before You start building your response, she explains, with the goal of really understanding why they’re upset. “It doesn’t mean you agree with them, but you can see the situation through their eyes. Then you can move on to communicating as you see fit,” she adds.