communicatingHave you ever felt like a doormat in a relationship? Maybe a man treated you poorly, misunderstood you, or defamed your character. You might have felt stepped on – like a doormat.

When you feel hurt, it’s important to be able to gracefully and powerfully stand up for yourself. I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, I struggled with how to express myself when I felt hurt, especially by a man. I thought men could read my mind (hah!). I’d tolerate hurtful behaviors until I couldn’t take it anymore. Then, I’d explode in anger, giving him a piece of my mind!

Luckily, I’ve learned new skills around communication that keep a man connected, not running in the other direction. Empowered communication is one of the cornerstones to healthy relationships. So, whether you’re single and dating or in a long-term relationship/marriage, these tips can help strengthen every relationship.

5 steps to speaking up when your feelings are hurt

1. Check in to see if it’s a good time to talk. Without checking in with him, you might as well not talk at all. He won’t hear you. When you’ve asked whether it’s a good time for him to talk, you’re showing him that you respect him and want his full attention. Men tend to be single-task oriented. If you start talking when he’s immersed in another task, he won’t hear you.

2. Strip down your issue to an objective statement. Figure out the main issue. What hurt? What were you upset about? Strip it down to the core. Talk about one thing at a time, not a whole litany of complaints pouring out at once.

3. Use an “I” statement. Don’t accuse. Say how you felt.

For example: “When you did ____________, I felt ____________. It was hurtful to me because _________________.”

4. Check in again. Ask him how he felt about what you just said.

5. Come up with a mutually agreed upon resolution. Discuss what you would like him to do differently next time (because there usually is a next time). Brainstorm together to come up with a plan. “I’m sorry” is not enough. “Here’s what I’ll do next time” is a much better way to resolve the issue.

Next time you feel hurt by anyone, try this 5-step method. Let me know how it works for you.

Have you ever felt like you wish you had better communication skills when your feelings were hurt? Please share your comments below.

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