What Do You Do When Someone Cuts You Off With “Got It”

by Reid on July 8, 2016

Close-up portrait of a coupleWhat do you do when someone cuts you off and shuts you down? How can you be seen and heard?

With Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Reid: A writer, writes in … or a commenter … writer? They could be a writer? A commenter who could be a writer, writes in. “When I’m talking, my husband will abruptly say, ‘Got it.’ How do you convey it is dismissive and actually, as you said, can leave me feeling not heard?” This is also referencing to the, “Dealing with people who cut you off, or won’t stop talking” video, which we’ll leave a link below for that if you want to jump to it.

Well, how do you handle it?

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from the TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Reid: Got it! I’m Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.

Cathy: My first approach would be to share that, “I understand that, that might be a good way for you to … that you feel like you’re conveying that you heard me, but I feel very cut off when you say that.” And see if they can hear you at that level.

Reid: I would build in to the relationship an interesting exercise of recreation. “Honey, thank you so much for getting me. Could you please put into your own words what I just said?” Ask each other — allow your husband to do to this you too. Don’t be like, “Only you get to recreate me, I’m perfect.”

Ask each other to check-in, and can you recreate what I just said for you. It’s what’s called in the non-violent communicational world, “active listening.” It’s also called active listening and some other things in a lot of other places. It’s the idea of, “Oh, so what I heard you say is, such and such.”

Then at a black belt level you could do the Texas Switch with your husband, and you guys can start doing the … rather than saying, “Go it.” Have them be like, “Oh, so what I heard you say, was X, Y, and Z.” Then maybe your husband can replace the “Got it,” with the “What I heard you say … ”

What you end up doing is checking in with each other for accuracy, and it will deepen the leaving each other feeling heard, while also double checking that I’m actually getting what you’re saying.

Often — and this isn’t even a malicious thing — we hear or make what you said mean something completely different. It’s just a human thing.

Cathy: It could also be that your husband might be feeling overwhelmed. Maybe he has a lot of stress at work or something and is having a hard time being present for you. He might actually mean, “Please stop talking right now,” but not know how to say it.

So finding out what the person really means. Asking them to share where they’re at and what they’re feeling, can at least let you know. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share with your partner, that’s part of being in a relationship, but you might find that you go and hang out with a good friend first and have a practice conversation, or share and get some of that out. So that when you are with your husband, you don’t need to share as much, depending on what both of you need. He may need less time that’s sharing, for a while things are stressful at work.

Reid: What you can also do when you’re not trying to have a conversation, is have a side conversation of, “So, I want to understand what you mean when you say, ‘Got it.’ Because maybe I’m just not getting what ‘Got it’ means.” It could be something like maybe you’re not feeling heard, maybe because the person that you love says, “Go it.” But what they’re trying to tell you is, “I’m actually getting it,” and maybe, “You’re repeating yourself,” or maybe, “I’ve heard this before,” or maybe, “We’ve talked about this before, and now when I say, ‘Got it.’ What I mean is, you’ve represenced me to this context, I’m on the same page as you. Continue.” You guys might have different, canceling each other out definitions of the language that you use.

You can have a conversation about clarity of terms. Have that conversation when you guys are having a really good day. Trying to have that conversation inside another conversation, you’re juggling an apple now when you were juggling bowling balls, and if you take a bite out of the wrong one, you know what that is.

Cathy: We’d love know what terms you use when you want to signal that you’ve been paying attention, you’ve got it.

I often go, “Yes, yes,” and sometimes it gets me in to trouble because someone thinking’s I’m agreeing when I’m like, “Yes, I understood what you just said.” What do you use to signal, “I got it”?

Reid: Leave the comments below, or your video response.

Link to the ‘Dealing with people who cut you off, or won’t stop talking’ video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lwEk4HKzDQ

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