Relationship Fitness

S15: Ten Communication Topics E2: What are You Thinking?

In “Relationship Workout for Men,” Season 15 Episode 2 titled “What are You Thinking?”, Vince navigates the crucial topic of revealing and understanding the thoughts underlying relationship conflicts. He distinguishes between the objective facts of a situation and the subjective beliefs, assumptions, and perceptions each partner holds. Using the birthday party example from the previous episode, Vince illustrates how misunderstanding and misinterpreting each other’s actions can fuel conflict, showing the importance of sharing and clarifying thoughts without judgment or filibuster. This episode stresses the value of expressing viewpoints to foster mutual understanding, urging listeners to recognize that perspectives can evolve through open conversation, setting the stage for exploring feelings in the next episode.

Welcome to Relationship Workout for Men, a podcast dedicated to helping men be intentional in choosing a better partner, and being a better partner for the person they choose.

Season 15 Episode 2: What are You Thinking?

In this episode, we discuss What to Talk about Topic #2: What are you thinking?

When discovering what you both are thinking, you essentially examine the perceptions, assumptions and interpretations surrounding what happened. Put another way, sharing what both of you are thinking is really all about expressing in words what thoughts are swimming around in both of your heads. 

Take care, as people often confuse the facts (from topic #1 “what happened”) with their beliefs (from this topic #2 “what are you thinking”).

In expressing your thoughts, here are some points to keep in mind:

Remember to cut each other slack with unfiltered points of view. A point of view is only one’s perspective at each point in time. After talking and further consideration, points of view can change. After all, that’s part of the point of talking in the first place.

Don’t share every single thought to the last drop. This is where your own better judgment comes into play. Share thoughts if they help reveal more about your point of view in the present moment. Don’t go overboard into potential filibuster land.

For instance, within our example illustration, he may be thinking that she’s totally ungrateful for not appreciating the party he threw for her. After all, he went to great lengths to pull it off. 

On the other hand, she may be thinking that it’s terrible her boyfriend of over two years – and this is the third birthday of hers they’ve shared together — doesn’t know her well enough to know she doesn’t like surprises, nor what her favorite birthday cake is. He doesn’t even know that the only chocolate she really likes is dark chocolate.

Another point, pay special attention to any judgmental thoughts as they may reveal missed expectations that could be triggering the emotional charge wrapped up in the issue. For instance, that last thought she had “He doesn’t even know that the only chocolate she really likes is dark chocolate” is most certainly what she’s thinking, but it’s a judgmental thought that is really saying: “He should know by now that she only likes dark chocolate.

Okay, so that’s a quick discussion on “What to Talk About” Topic #2: What are you thinking?

In the next episode, we explore “What to Talk About” Topic #3: What are you feeling?

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