The foundation of a relationship is friendship.
Gottman’s Principle “Enhance Your Love Map” is basically an ongoing effort to know your partner and get a glimpse into their inner world. Using the map analogy, some people only have a very general understanding of another person. They know the basics, but not the details. As you get to know your partner more deeply you will each feel more valued, appreciated, and cared about.
This week on the podcast, Sara Thingvold joins me to talk about getting to know your partner better through asking open ended questions and having “agenda-free” conversations.
Great practices for asking open-ended questions:
- Get permission – “Would you be willing to have a conversation right now?” Asking an open-ended question when your partner is distracted, upset, or not present can lead to disappointment.
- Use a great lead into an open conversation
- Share your responses to open your partner up
- “Can you tell me about…?”
- Give your partner permission not to respond
- Take time to tune into yourself, your feelings and your opinions so that you can become more tuned into your partner
- It gets easier with practice. Give yourself permission to be messy.