Does this sound familiar?:
The topic keeps changing or getting interrupted
Your partner keeps walking out of the room while you're talking
Your partner won't make eye contact or sit still long enough to finish the conversation
And, you might find yourself thinking: "they don't care enough to listen to me!" "I'm clearly not a priority." "Are they even paying attention?" "Ugh. I guess it's all on me then."
This is what might actually be happening:
First, all brains are different, and listen differently.
Changing topics or bringing random thoughts up can be a sign of emotional safety, as well as a way of getting those thoughts out of the brain so they can focus on what is being said. Without writing it down or saying it aloud, the thought rattles around and takes up so much space that everything else becomes noise.
If your partner keeps walking out of the room while you're talking, perhaps it's their body telling them they need to move or that they need a short break. Doing the laundry, picking up the house etc can be a way of stimulating the brain so it can focus on what is being said.
For some people, sitting still and making eye contact is masking, and they aren't really present or paying attention even while they LOOK like they are. For many of us, moving our bodies HELPS us pay attention.
In addition to the above, consider:
Did you ask if this was a good time to talk? They might have too much on their brain to focus right now, but that doesn't' mean they don't WANT to have this conversation with you.
Did either of you check the "vulnerabilities" in your space? If not, they might now be in sensory overwhelm. Before getting into a big conversation, check these vulnerabilities: lights comfortable clothing extra noises (radio or music playing) strong smells
What else am I missing? I want to hear your experience with this! Share on my facebook or instagram page, or reply to my email! I read every one.