(By Dr. Andrea Bonior, Washington Post)
Q. My partner (together since 1998) is not able to retain personal things that I’ve shared with her (including general things like finances, just about everything) and keep them to herself.
She shares this information with people she’s only known for a little while (like colleagues at a new job). I find this to be very destructive to us, and she is nonresponsive to me when I tell her how to correct the behaviour or keep her mouth shut. I find it to be really aggressive behaviour on her part.
A. It’s funny you use the word “aggressive,” because I was feeling super warm and simpatico with you until you started to sound like a drill sergeant.
You won’t get far in convincing her of anything if you don’t at least attempt to adopt an empathetic tone.
She’s prone to sharing these things for a reason: Do you have any idea what it is, and have you even asked? Is she trying to connect? Does she have no filter? Is she an impulsive blurter-outer? Does she, deep down, not share your opinion about what should be kept private and why? Might your standards be too strict about what should be taboo with co-workers?
You’ll need to do more listening than commanding as you better identify the problem. Only then can you work together toward a plan for you each to respect the other’s needs.
Author: ANA Newswire