If you prefer to read, here is the transcription of the video:
Hello! Today, I am going to talk to you about the power of feedback and how important it is to help our partner navigate our inner world and understand our needs and our desires. I am going to focus on the dating phase, but the tips I am going to share with you can be used at any stage of the relationship. I am focusing on the dating phase, because I believe that these first and initial contacts with our partner or potential partner are like the foundation of a house or a building. If the foundation is strong then we have very good chances to build a relationship that is happy, that is thriving.
So, what is a strong foundation of a relationship. This is a relationship based on honesty, on kindness, on respect, on vulnerability. But why are we going to talk about feedback? Let's see... At the beginning of the relationship we don't know each other that well. We are dating and we like the guy.
But there are things we don't like, there are things which he says which puzzle us or something he does or the way he treats us, which we don't appreciate. But we don't give him feedback. We don't share how we feel, how we see things, because many of us don't want to sound like they are criticizing the person or are afraid that he might feel attacked.
Another reason why we don't speak up is because we don't want to make a big deal out of something small. And ultimately we don't want to chase the man away. But the things is that if we don't speak up, we don't show our truth. We are hiding behind a mask. So, even if this dating continues and grows into a relationship, in this relationship or a/ we will keep on wearing this mask and will not be fully happy or b/ we will be twisting the hands of the man trying to make him something he is not, basically trying to change him.
If we learn how to give honest feedback, kind feedback and if we learn how to navigate our man or potential partner, these will be the stable base, the stable foundation of the relationship.
I am going to share with you 3 tips on how to give feedback which is vulnerable, authentic and doesn't sound like criticizing.
Before that I am going to share with you a little personal story:
When I started dating Rogier, my current partner, I made a very clear decision for myself that I will be 100% honest, that I am going to tell him everything. I am not going to hide my thoughts, my emotions, my feelings... I am going to really put myself out there and show him who I really am.
Basically this was like a challenge for me, to be completely transparent and actually this is when I've learned how to communicate this feedback to him. But also this was a test for him. Can he handle me with all my emotions, with all my feelings, with all my fluctuating states? Can he still be with me and take me the way I am, the whole package, not just the positive, smiley person, but also the one who is disappointed, who expected something else, somebody who can get angry?
How do you give this whole package to somebody, is actually the key. You want him to know you. This is the stable foundation. You want him to know you, but you don't want to criticize him. And at the very beginning I remember text messages, a conversation where I am saying something and he replies. Ok, I said that I will be 100% honest. I had this intention and determination. I've received his reply and I am replying back "You know what, I'm hearing what you are saying, but I would like to actually see as a response is this:..." So I recognize what he says and I am giving him what I would like having as a response. Sometimes we mean the same things, but we use different words and it is important also to adjust our wording, how do we understand each other, how do we talk the same language.
And I really remember messages where I am saying literally, "I know what you mean, but how I would like to hear it is this:..." or "what I would like to have as a response is this:...", "what I expected to have for response is this:..." and what I am doing in this moment is, I am opening up and sharing my expectations, my needs and my desires. He learns to know me better and basically to navigate me better.
It can happen that this feedback gives us the indication that we don't have the same values, we don't have the same needs, we don't have the same desires and ultimately we are not a match, but if we start giving feedback at the beginning of the relationship, we will not waste each other's time, if we are not a match.
And on the other hand, if by giving this feedback we help the person know us better and it is a match, this is then this stable, beautiful foundation I am talking about, which will help us build a happy, open, truthful relationship, a relationship of good, deep connection and trust.
Ok, so how do we give feedback? This is especially important at the beginning of the relationship when we still don't know each other, but these tips we can use throughout the whole relationship.
- Come from a place of goodness. Come from a place of joy and love. Don't give feedback if you are already irritated, if you are angry. If this is not your day and you are triggered by the smallest thing, this is not a good moment to give feedback to the person, because you will come across as criticizing and attacking. Then, the very natural reaction of the man is to shut down and he will not hear you and you can even hurt him or offend him. And this is something you don't want to do. Come from a place of gratitude, of appreciation, of joy. Express what you need to express and what you want to express in a moment when you are happy and you are enjoying life and his company.
If you are not in this state at the moment when you want to share feedback, use your memory and go back in time to the state you've been in when you were a young girl - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old girl and remember how you were looking at the world, how joyful you were, how you were looking at the world with this wonder, with appreciation, how everything was WOW for you, how much trust there was in you, how much innocence, and appreciation, and freedom and joy. So if you are not in this goodness state right now, come back to the girl in you and to this emotional, joyful and innocent state and then give him feedback.
- Be cautions about the words you are using. Because even if you come from a place of goodness, especially if you are texting or talking on the phone, our words change the energy of the conversation. So when you speak to him, express it in a so called wishful thinking way. For example, instead of saying "you are never there", which sounds like blaming, what you can say is "I wish we could be spending more time together". Another example: when you want to share feedback about a gift he gave you, you should thank him and appreciate his gesture, but also say "you know what? I love this gift, but what would make it even better next time is ..." or "what would make it extra special is...".
Share your positive emotions, choose your words in a way to express your positive emotions. For example: "you know what would make me really happy..." or "I would love if...". Avoid pointing fingers. Avoid generalizations like "you are always like that" or "why are YOU so...". Put aside the blaming, put aside the pointing of fingers and express what you would actually like to have.
- Invite conversation. Ask him how he feels when you tell him those things. Does he hear you? Does he recognize it? Does it resonates with him? Because sometimes when I share with Rogier "You know what? I would like to hear it this way" and his answer could be "Yes, but this is not really me speaking". And this is OK, because we are having a conversation. It is a conversation of trust and honesty and he can also say "Oh yeah, I know what you mean. I will say it next time more this way".
So invite his feelings and his emotions and his thoughts to come forward. Ask him how he feels, how he sees what you are saying and listen to it. Respect it. Accept what he says. The fact that you've shared your needs and your expectations and your desires doesn't mean that he needs to follow them. You already made the first step. You've been honest, transparent and open, but we also give a choice and freedom to the other person what he will do with this feedback. So respect his reaction and this will be a very good foundation of a relationship.
This approach with those 3 tips, 3 steps to give feedback is something that serves us throughout the whole relationship and even now I can talk to Rogier and every time when I need to tell him something, I stop myself from saying it when I am irritated and I find the right words when I am a positive state.
This is what I wanted to share with you. I am inviting you to stay open and vulnerable and honest. It requires courage and it is not easy, but this the foundation you can build this true, happy relationship on.