The Next Best Thing To Reading His Mind

You have an amazing power within you that gives you control over how you react to anyone or any situation. Unfortunately, you can’t control what someone says or does or what happens to you, but you can control how you deal with it and react to it.

I brought this idea up in the 5 Simple Steps Guide and I received a lot of questions on it, so let’s dive a little deeper!

Let’s be specific with this idea as it relates to our romantic relationship; even more specifically, when are in conflict, on the verge of a fight perhaps.

Accepting this universal truth that we have no control over how our partner behaves or what they say will change they way you communicate with your partner; particularly when entering an argument. I believe that if you can really believe this, you can prevent arguments all together and deal with conflict from a healthier, more productive place.

There is really only way to stop an argument from happening, and that is to stay present; like there is crazy glue in your brain keeping you stuck in the awareness of the present moment. This is sometimes considered a ‘woo woo’ concept but it is actually very practical.

I can tell you exactly what is going on in both of your heads in the moment right before a big fight. You are both drudging up old negative thought patterns from your past. You may be thinking of something he did last week or last year and are still mad at him for it. He is most likely doing the same. You may be thinking how someone else treated you in a past relationship that felt similar to this moment. It’s not. You can’t compare any moment to anything from your past. This is dangerous territory because you aren’t living in the present. You are totally unaware of what is really going on now.

Being Triggered

When you are not in the present moment and only thinking about what is happening right now, you are being triggered. It’s an incredibly important thing to understand and be aware of; not only in you but in your partner as well.

What happens in relationships is that our partner or spouse does something that irritates us, angers us, makes us sad…pretty much anything that sets off a negative emotion. You know when it happens because you feel it. You want to get defensive, or yell at him or scream silently inside or stomp off in anger or roll your eyes. We’ve all had these moments because we’re human.

The next time you feel like this, consider for a moment that it may not be him that is the problem. I want you to stop, count to 10 and consider that perhaps you are being triggered. Dig deep. Is this really about him or something else going on in you?

Take a deep breath, relax and instead of reacting from the normal angry place, ask yourself when in a past relationship or in your childhood have you ever felt like this. It may not have anything to do with the situation but it’s the feeling you’re paying attention to. You won’t be able to figure it out, if you try to relate it to exactly what is going on. Instead get super aware about how you are feeling and try to think of a time you felt this way in your past. Stop using your brain and try not to think too hard. Feel it.

A True Story

I had a client that was so angry at her husband because he would remind her about little things she’d forget to do. Particularly annoying was how often he’d tell her to turn lights off when she left a room. The trust was that they were on a budget and money was tight so every little bit helped. But she wasn’t being logical and aware of the truth, she was being triggered and believing something else; taking it personally.

She would roll her eyes and stomp back to the room and turn the light off in a huff. He would get defensive and it would end up in a fight about her feeling like he always had to order her around and tell her what to do. She would end up yelling at him “You’re my husband, not my Father! Stop treating me like a child!” and stomp off in a rage.

What she figured out after a session or two with me around triggers, was that her angry, defensive reaction had nothing to do with what her husband was doing and saying in that moment. She realized it must have had something to do with her past that was coming up in those moments. In our session, she couldn’t think about what that was. So, I told her to pay attention to the feeling next time and see if she could come up with it in the moment.

The next time her husband asked her to do something she had forgotten to do, she didn’t react (she admitted how hard it was to stay calm!). Instead she took a deep breath and really tuned into her body and what she was feeling. It was like a lightening bolt, the memory of her mom being controlling and critical came flooding back.

Her Father had left them when she was young and her Mom had three kids to look after and was exhausted and frustrated for most of her childhood years. Her Mom had no patience and not a lot of time for nurturing. She had no awareness around her children’s mental well-being and how her stress could be effecting them. There was barely enough money to keep them going, she worked a lot and demanded help from her children. She constantly ordered them around and didn’t have time or patience for anyone doing anything wrong.

As an adult she could fully appreciate where her Mom was coming from. She had a lot of compassion for what her Mom went through. However, her young mind during those painful years was scared of her Mom and she lived in fear of not doing things right. She didn’t understand what was really going on and the feelings of being controlled and unappreciated were ingrained and sat there dormant for years. And this is why she couldn’t come up with these feelings from her past in our session. Her brain understood why her mom was like that but her deep seeded feelings still haunted her and she wasn’t even aware. They came out in moments in her present when she felt the same way.

This was a huge eye opening moment for her. She came to realize that her husband wasn’t a mean controlling jerk with little regard for her feelings. Asking her to turn the light off was a fair request. She was projecting onto him how she felt and couldn’t react as a young child from her Mom. It was this strong feeling of shame she felt based on her mom’s controlling nature that made her react negatively to him. It had nothing to do with the current situation at all.

And even though she forgave her Mom as an adult, she carried around a hardwired belief system and a pattern from her childhood that she was totally unaware of until something triggered it, even a small, well-meaning request.

Once she communicated this to her husband, he was able to understand her anger and became more tactful and compassionate when letting her know that something needed to be done or that she had forgotten to do something.

How To Deal With Others Being Triggered

That takes us to the second part of triggers and the other side of the coin; being aware that other people may be triggered in a situation. And then being able to come at it from a place of understanding and compassion instead of taking it personally.

When you are sensing a negative reaction or mood from your partner, keep in mind that there is a very good chance that they are being triggered.

This awareness allows you to step back and realize that he may not be reacting to you at all in the moment. It is so freeing if you can do this, because no longer do you have to take things so personally. You can stop and realize that any negative behaviour or mood you are seeing in your partner or anyone else for that matter, has nothing to do with you.

By taking yourself out of the equation, you don’t have to get defensive or angry. You can detach from the situation and come from a place of kindness and objectivity. Coming from this place, allows your partner to hear your words and energy differently and the situation will always be diffused.

Knowing he is being triggered is the next best thing to reading his mind. You don’t need to know what is triggering him. Simply being aware that something is coming up from a past situation for him is enough to allow you to let it go because it has nothing to do with you!

And from there, you’ll shift your perception from defensiveness to compassion and move forward from a healthier place diffusing the argument!

Hope this helps, email me anytime with comments or your success stories!
hilary@heartstringstory.com

Sending you all my best,

Understanding Men – Why They Pull Away

There is a secret that somehow got missed as we journeyed toward understanding the all mysterious man! Well, the day has come to finally discover the truth about men and is really going on inside their heads. It’s simple if you can wrap your head around it and accept it as the truth…

Your man wants to be your hero!

You have the power to inspire your partner to be your hero. It’s not as hard as you think because it’s who he really wants to be. Believe this fact and you’re half way there!

The hero complex men have is a universal truth. It’s who men are at their core. As women, we need to understand this. There is nothing we need to do, really. Instead it’s more of a mindset shift and involves making some small tweaks in the way you communicate with your man.

Most of us have a hard time believing this truth. However, once I can get my clients to understand and embrace it, I’ve seen everything in their relationships change. When your mindset changes, your energy changes and your man will feel it. It will inspire him to change his energy toward you. He won’t even realize when and why the shift happens. It just does and boy, do we feel it! And it feels great! He, however, has no idea. He might feel better inside but he isn’t totally aware why.

Men are very simple creatures. I mean no disrespect. In fact, I’m sure most of them would agree with me if I said this to them face to face. Women are wired completely differently. So, that makes it difficult for us to understand.

Stick with me here, and try some of the ideas I’m about to tell you about and see how he responds. If he’s completely shutdown and doesn’t seem interested in doing the things he used to do for you in the beginning, how can it hurt? It can’t get much worse, right?

Don’t you long for the days when he used to plan special dates for you? I bet he thought of buying you little gifts he knew you would like or sent flowers just because he loved you and wanted you to know. Most of my clients tell me that in the old days, their man always wanted to help out around the house, fix stuff, help with chores, take the garbage out without asking, cleaned up after himself etc etc. Then it happens all of a sudden: he seems uninterested in helping you with anything and makes you feel like you’re such a nag for reminding him to do the things he used to be so happy to do for you.

It’s super annoying and really not fair. But there is something that happens as a relationships matures and you both had a part to play in how you got here.

Here is the mindset change I would love you to embrace:

Your man loves making you happy!

I know it doesn’t feel like it, but it’s true. I’m not making this up. It is based on research from PHDs, researchers, best selling authors, relationship coaches etc. It’s a common theme when it comes to uncovering and understanding how men operate in relationships.

So, in the beginning, it’s easy. He did so much for you, right? You were so happy and grateful and were probably having a lot of sex so all was good!

Then, like in every relationship, as we all know too well, the inevitable happens; you get more comfortable with each other and the euphoria of a new and exciting lover slowly wears off. You start to get irritated about everything he does. We all do it. You fall into bad habits of nagging and not being grateful because you are so focused on what he’s NOT doing and what he SHOULD be doing. Again, it’s normal, but you stop seeing and appreciating what he IS doing.

Here is another truth about men that most of us women have no idea about:

Men are super sensitive to whether or not he is fulfilling his partner’s needs.

Again, I know, it doesn’t seem so. But he will be super happy and excited to do anything for you based on these two things you can do to inspire him:

1) how clear you communicate what you need and 2) why you need it and how it would make you feel.

I fell down on both of these things. My first mistake was that I assumed that he should just know what I needed without asking. I thought he should be able to read my mind…wasn’t it obvious what should be done?? And my second mistake was that I would ask without telling him why it would mean so much and what the benefit would be to me. This is crucial info for our men to know. Without it, we are just considered to be nags!

Your man’s brain does not interpret you asking them to do things for you like it’s something you really want and need him to do. You need to spell it out for him and what it means to you and more importantly, WHY you need it.

And on top of that, women are doing so much for themselves these days, that men feel emasculated. And this is why they shutdown. They believe we don’t need them and that is the worst thing in the world to them. This is a super important thing for us to understand:

Men need to feel needed.

They need to know WHY we need them. That is what inspires them to be our hero!

Here’s how it usually goes: You ask your man to do something and he puts it off because he doesn’t know how much it would mean to you if he did what you asked. This is because you haven’t told him how it would benefit you and how much it would mean to you. So you end up doing it yourself. Unfortunately this sends a horrible message to your man. It makes him think you don’t need him so why should he do anything??? It’s not laziness. It’s not resentment. He’s not punishing you. It’s in his DNA. We have to understand this important fact:

If he doesn’t feel like you need him, he shuts down!

Just knowing this helps us make the mindset shift, doesn’t it? It takes the resentment away that he is purposely being unhelpful and lazy. It takes the whole idea that ‘he must not love us enough’ out of our female brains!

The most common example I hear from clients is the dreaded toilet seat. One client was so hurt, disappointed and furious that her husband wouldn’t put the seat down for her. She would think how horrible and selfish it was of him. Doesn’t he know how gross it is that she has to touch the seat to put it down and that if it’s dark she might fall in and feel the cold toilet water on her butt??? She believed that if he really loved her, he would do that for her without her having to ask; that he should just know!

Here are the three problems with this old mindset:

1) She never asked him specifically to put the seat down so he wouldn’t think to do it. It’s efficient for him to have it up is how his brains works. So, the first step was to get over the assumption that he was being selfish and unthoughtful. Even if she made a dig or a subtle hint, he doesn’t hear it. It’s not that he’s ignoring us or doesn’t care, it’s just not how his brain works.

2) Not only did she have to tell him clearly that she wanted him to put the seat down but also WHY it would be great if he did. So, even being clear that he should put the seat down would not be enough incentive. She needed to tell him the reasons why. It’s gross and she falls in at night.

3) If he ever did do it, she never told him how much she appreciated it.

Once she communicated the ‘what she needed and why’ clearly to her husband without blame or criticism, he understood her frustration and started putting the toilet seat down immediately. The new incentive for him was that he would be saving her from all the ickiness that goes along with the toilet seat being left up. And she thanked him every time he did it making him feel like a true hero.

You can see how important this mindset change is to both of you. If you don’t communicate properly to your man about what you need, he won’t do what you need and even if he tries, he usually gets it wrong. What ends up happening is that you misinterpret his lack of initiative to mean that he must not love you enough.

And this is when the resentment starts on yours and his part, right? If you don’t tell him what makes you happy, he won’t know! I know you’ve heard this at least once in your lifetime from your man “Nothing I do ever makes you happy” He starts to really believe that he will never be able to make you happy; that you’re never satisfied. He doesn’t know what to do now. All he can do is back off from doing anything. His manhood is in question and he starts shutting down because he feels useless.

It’s in his DNA to want you to be happy and he wants to be the one that is responsible for your happiness. Let him make you happy! Tell him what you need and why. There is nothing romantic about letting him guess. He probably won’t get it right and you’ll be disappointed. He would love nothing more than an instruction manual. And since that doesn’t exist, tell him! You will see the shift in his energy. He will be more romantic, helpful and heroic!

You’ll see.

So, now that you understand why you need to let your man be your hero, I invite you to download my Free Guide: 5 Steps To Getting His Attention back for more insights!
The 5 steps are already pretty simple but along with your added knowledge about how men think, you’ll have the relationship of your dreams in no time!
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