This is part 2 in this post, last post I talked about how men and women tend to be socialised to use two different empathy networks (the mirror neuron network and the TPJ (or lets fix it) network). But the big question is what do you do about it.
There is a handy technique that can avoid these kinds of conflicts in your relationship. If you are upset and want mirror neuron empathy tell your partner e.g. “I’d like to share something and what would really help me is if you listen to me hold my hands and try and imagine what it feels like being in my world. This would make me feel loved and understood by you and I will probably feel more connected to you (and you might get lucky – is an optional but very effective ending).”
If you partner is wanting empathy but you don’t know which type simply ask, try, “I’d like to listen to listen to you well and it would help me know if you are wanting me to simply listen and try and understand your world or if you want me to think up some brilliant solutions?” Then give them what they asked for.
Finally the important thing to remember is what you appreciate is what you get more of. If you partner gets this even partly right, tell them how much you appreciate what they did right and the impact it had on you – this gives your partner the tools to be more successful in loving you. For more using appreciation to get more of the kind of love you want see my next post.