Do you almost have a good relationship? The question has been asked by countless men (and women), “What do women want?” What I am about to share with you is not just a great tool for personal and professional relationships, it can also help reduce the stress and tension in work and everyday relationships simply by being aware of it whenever interacting with women. This includes two women interacting, man and women interacting, and when strategizing of how to have a difficult conversation with almost anyone (especially a woman).
One of the foremost masters of research in couple’s relationships, Dr. John Gottman, writes that the #1 trait women want in a partner/spouse is.....
TRUSTWORTHINESS; which is really a compound word meaning “worthiness of being trusted.”
Really? All these years asking the question, and that is the best answer?
Trustworthiness is really the result of repeated instances where a woman sees she can trust her partner. In my experience working with couples over the years, when this is lacking, it creates a hole in the stability and emotional fabric of the relationship. Interestingly, the effects can often, but not always, be repaired by rebuilding trustworthiness, and reversing the damaging process to become a building process.
According to Gottman, this trust is built through emotional connection, which is created through "Attunement." Attunement is essentially being dialed into what she is saying or feeling. Not faking it. Men and women can both tell when someone is faking it, and neither gender feels a sense of trust toward someone who fakes it.
ATTUNEment is actually an acronym...
Attend- to what she is saying or wants to do via undivided attention.
Turn Toward- physically, turn to look at your partner, with eye contact when she is talking.
Understand- by asking questions about what she is saying (to help you understand her better), not questioning her words or offering solutions. If she wanted someone to fix her problems, she would call a handyman. When a woman shares with you, she is giving you the opportunity to show that you want to understand what she is saying and build trust between you.
Nondefensively Listen- If she is saying something that makes you in the wrong, feel attacked, or look bad, take a deep breath, and let her finish, (Even though it might feel that she is going on and on, she will finish what she’s saying at some point, and you’ll be glad you didn’t interrupt or respond defensively to what she said!) If she is upset, and then you get upset, neither of you wins, you both lose. Even though it may seem she is upset because of you. The key here is don’t take what she is saying personally. She is upset because she is upset, and that will only get worse if you add to it by getting defensive and upset too. Be open, take another deep breath, and know that she feels you have the power to help her feel better about the situation, which is why she is saying something to you at that moment.
Empathize- you don’t have to agree with any of what she says, and you can still let her know that you are with her, trying to use words to express what she is feeling. Empathizing is a key component that helps her feel understood, and when she feels understood, she can take it down a notch, and begin to relax and feel closer to you. Think politics: people end relationships after fighting about politics, while all they really want is for the other person to express understanding of their feeling or opinion. Describe her feelings about the situation, and ask her if your understanding is correct or if you are missing anything about what she is feeling. Empathy is powerful, and so is validating her feelings and what she says, and it helps her feel heard and you know perfectly that when she feels good and connected to you (which happens when you ATTUNE to what she is saying), it will make all the difference in the rest of your day or week together.
If you are unsure about these ideas, you have the option to try out any of these ideas. Try them out on your spouse, your friend, co-worker, employees, because the principles actually apply to men and women in any relationship.