- Maya Angelou
If we change "people" to "my spouse" this important quote will be grammatically incorrect -- and completely true. My spouse will never forget how I made him feel.
Getting Out of Blame, Being Right
This is why it is so crucial to get out of the blame game, the need to be right, or accurate, and get into the feelings that lie beneath those behaviors (e.g., hurt, fear, etc.).
I know many of you are not comfortable with feelings and would rather separate feelings and thinking. Yet the truth is there is emotion underneath nearly every conversation (reactions; what I think this means about me or us, etc.). Check out "Difficult Conversations," written by the Harvard Negotiation Team, as they address these issues so well.
We can't actually "make" anyone feel something, but we sure can behave in ways (e.g., empathy) that offers the best chance that you and your beloved will feel love, connection, and care.
Experiment . . . So people will never forget how you made them feel.
Try this for a week: Act, speak, and listen with the intention of connection and kindness. Leave everything else aside (just notice any other inclinations). At the end of the week, notice how you feel. How does your partner feel?
If you don't know how to do this, you are not alone. You can learn, though. You get to choose. You get to feel something about yourself, too. What'll it be?