Don’t Worry If Someone You Love Is Angry With You… Simply Ask This One Question. The Love Has Returned- [CHECK OUT]

Don't Worry If Someone You Love Is Angry With You... Simply Ask This One Question. The Love Has Returned- [CHECK OUT]
Don't Worry If Someone You Love Is Angry With You... Simply Ask This One Question. The Love Has Returned- [CHECK OUT]
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Don’t Worry If Someone You Love Is Angry With You… Simply Ask This One Question. The Love Has Returned

My sister Heather, a special-education teacher at an elementary school in upstate New York, called me last September.

Heather, known to her students as Mrs. Stella, had had a difficult week. Her students were getting settled in for the new school year, but some of them had become agitated in class.

“What do you do when a child is emotionally distraught?” I inquired. She told me that many teachers at her school ask students a simple question: Do you want to be helped, heard, or hugged?

Heather explained that the option gives children a sense of control, which is important when they are following school rules all day. “And every child handles their emotions differently,” she added. “Some people need tissues, or they want to discuss a problem on the bus, and I’ll just listen.”

It occurred to me that this question could be equally effective for adults.

Throughout our marriage, if I mentioned a problem to my husband Tom, he would begin troubleshooting before I was finished speaking. He meant well, but his suggestions irritated me even more. Sometimes all I wanted was a silent bear hug.

Now, whenever one of us is upset about something (usually me), the other will ask that question. It has been a game-changer in recent months. It clarifies requirements. It calms down tumultuous emotions. It enables us to take positive action.

Each option has the potential to comfort and calm: an embrace, thoughtful but solicited advice, or an empathetic ear. Receiving a hug from your partner raises oxytocin levels, the bonding hormone, and reduces stress. Being heard, also known as “high-quality listening,” has been shown to reduce defensiveness during difficult and intimate conversations. According to some research, couples who give each other supportive advice have higher relationship satisfaction.

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However, different emotions necessitate different reactions, according to Dr. Elizabeth Easton, director of psychotherapy at Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center in Denver. “One response, such as reassurance, may work well for anxiety but may irritate someone who is frustrated,” she explained.

According to Jada Jackson, a licensed mental health counselor in Dallas, your preferred style may be incompatible with your partner’s. “When I work with couples, I tell them, ‘Listen, don’t assume that just because you want a hug or to fix things, your partner will want the same.”

“I tell my husband, ‘Don’t try to fix it all the time,'” Dr. Jackson said of her own marriage. “Sometimes all I want to do is vent.”

“Not necessarily because they want the other person to feel better,” she added, problem-solvers may try to repair things for their own satisfaction. (According to a 2018 study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, giving advice can increase the adviser’s “sense of power.”) Unsolicited feedback, according to Dr. Jackson, can add another layer of tension.

“They may just want to sit with feeling frustrated or disappointed before they move on to problem-solving,” said Frank Castro, a clinical psychologist in New York and California.

You could also move in for a reassuring hug, but “your partner is like a prickly cactus,” according to Dr. Castro, and isn’t in the mood to be touched.

Trying to figure out whether your loved one wants to be helped, heard, or hugged “really amounts to asking, ‘How can I meet your needs?'” Dr. Jackson explained.

Dr. Castro clarified that by asking the question, you are not making assumptions. “You’re asking permission — and being very deliberate — which is a sign of empathy.”

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When Tom asks what I need, it cuts down on the time I spend getting worked up. I take a moment to pause, assess, and respond: most of the time, it’s just a hug.

“That’s what most of my students say,” Heather said.

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