Here’s the conundrum: the person who you love most in the world wants to talk about an issue. You’re honored, of course, that they’re coming to you with their dilemma, but at the same time, it’s challenging because you know them so well that you can cut straight through the BS and tell them that this isn’t really about their boss, it’s about their control issues with their father and they better address those first. But you can’t say that because they’ll probably want to punch your in the face for being so right. Being right — rather than empathetic — can be awfully annoying when your partner is having a vulnerable moment. But they need your input. What to do? Tread lightly and carry a tiny stick. Meaning, it’s all in the delivery. Here are some tips to help you master one of the most important relationship skills: how to give your SO guidance without pissing them off.
1. Let them know how much you love them. Start off with this. It may seem redundant, but everyone can use a reminder of how loved they are, especially when they’re in turmoil. Plus, it’s good to reiterate that your advice is coming from a place of love and respect.
2. Refrain from saying anything judgmental. People can smell judgement miles away, especially your partner who knows your every facial expression. Don’t even try to camouflage that shit. Just check your judgement at the door, or wait to broach the subject until you’re feeling more accepting.
3. Know when it’s time to STFU. Even if you have amazing advice to give, your partner needs to be in the right mindset to receive it. Gauge this by being humble and open to their reactions and current emotional state. Know that sometimes you need to stop talking and listen. Hold a hand. Give a hug. And really, shut up. It helps.
[Check out the final four at The Frisky.}