Being responsive to a partner is also crucial. When partners express themselves, they are looking for a responsive response. It’s important not to ignore or dismiss one’s partner. If an individual is defensive, rather than responsive, the partner is unlikely to feel heard.
If a partner doesn’t feel heard, the partner may repeat him or herself indefinitely. Unresolved issues from the past can be expressed for years or decades—at least until that person feels genuinely heard. The following examples reflect responsive responses:
“I am upset but I’m not ready to talk about it.”
“You don’t seem yourself.”
“I wish you didn’t feel that way.”
“I apologize for ….”