Relationship Communication Skills: Put the Inside Outside

Put the Inside Outside is another communication skill that I teach clients in both individuals and couples sessions.

When people talk to each other they often think thoughts or have feelings that they do not reveal to others. Most of the time this is perfectly OK. It certainly would not be appropriate to say everything one is thinking or feeling. Yet often, when more information is given there are fewer misunderstandings and a greater connection.

It can be as simple as letting others know you are feeling pressured for time. In a session with client(s) if I’m running late, I often start to speak faster and may interrupt my clients, especially when working with couples. When I notice myself doing that I will say to clients, “The session is almost over and I’m feeling pressured for time to complete what we’re doing.” This helps them understand what is going on with me and lets them know that I’m not impatient with them. They experience how it feels to be informed and usually want to cooperate. I am also teaching them the skill of Put the Inside Outside by modeling it.

When working with couples I often find that partners do not let each other know what is going on inside of them, positive or negative. They do not give each other feedback. It leaves each partner guessing and hoping that the impact of what they said is what they meant.

Example: In a couples session.

Wife to husband, “I appreciate how you help with the kids when you get home.”

Husband, “Well I always do that.”

Dr. Bea, ” Your wife just told you something that she appreciated about you. What was that like?”

Husband, “What do you mean?”

Dr. Bea, “Well, did you like her telling you that?”

Husband, “Yeah, it felt good.”

Dr. Bea, “Let her know.”

Husband to wife, “It felt good to hear you appreciate what I do.”

Dr. Bea to wife, “What was it like to hear that from him.”

Wife, “It felt really good.”

We all laugh.

Often it is the simple things that people communicate to each other that can make a big difference in their communication and their connection with each other.

With care and concern,

Dr. Bea Mackay

Do it Yourself Relationship Help at

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