Who never talks about himself

When partners don't talk about feelings

Not only men hide feelings

It is still men who find it difficult to talk about their emotions, according to the opinion of psychotherapist Josef Aldenhoff. This is a cliché that has nothing to do with it, says Valeska Riedel.

The family therapist from Nuremberg emphasizes that there are indeed differences in communication: "In the distant past, women had more opportunity and space to talk, men had to act more."

Not only the way we communicate, the emotions themselves also have an evolutionary component, explains Alessandro Cavicchioli. "People have a desire to bond, they want to be with someone, to take care of themselves," says the psychological psychotherapist and state chairman of Baden-Württemberg of the German Association of Psychotherapists.

Feelings or thoughts?

Our emotional life already arises in childhood, says Aldenhoff. Babies already try to make contact with their most important caregivers. According to Riedel, however, the truth also includes: "We don't have that much practice in really talking about feelings."

She means language above all and explains: With our words we often claim that we are communicating our soul life, but we do not do it at all. "Women in particular often think that they are talking about emotions, but what they express are their thoughts," explains Riedel.

An example: "I have the feeling that ...". Exactly these sentences can end in allegations and accusations. Which in turn creates a defensive attitude in the counterpart.

You have to perceive feelings

"You have to perceive feelings in the first place," says Aldenhoff. Then it is a matter of analyzing and expressing them. "That is not at all taken for granted."

Problems usually arise when one partner is dissatisfied with the situation or wants something completely different from the other. So what? Don't try desperately to change your partner, advises Riedel.

Those who want to talk more can first of all talk about themselves and their feelings. “The question is whether you expect the other to do the same. It is not the case that everyone has to talk about it with the same wealth of vocabulary, ”Aldenhoff points out.

Make people aware of their needs

Motivation is also crucial: Do I want to know something because I want to be in control or because someone interests me? These are two very different relationship models, explains Cavicchioli - one characterized by fear, one positive by curiosity.

That is why he advises: Become aware of what you want to do and what your need is. Try to communicate that to the other. “Feelings are indications of fulfilled or unfulfilled needs,” explains Riedel.

Therefore, she recommends: Ask that your need be catered for. Then the chance is higher that the partner will react to it. Anyone who wants to develop together as a couple here needs above all patience, openness and time.

Just be silent

Cavicchioli suggests an after-work ritual in case a partner had a bad day and wants to talk about it. Make it clear that your partner should only listen to you - if you don't want tips from him or her, just comfort.

"Don't talk too long, take breaks," advises Cavicchioli. One of the essential elements here is listening - not evaluating and leaving sentences as they are. Or sometimes keep quiet together.

Because not everything has to be discussed and talked to death. “Feelings live from being shown. You don't have to talk about it at all times or work through a checklist, ”Aldenhoff points out.

To get into feeling, Riedel recommends doing something. It doesn't matter whether it's a walk in the forest or a common sport - it's about having a common experience and bringing your head to a standstill. Kissing, for example, can also be a good approach for couples.

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