When asked most people say they don’t want to be lied to by their partner, yet consciously or unconsciously there are a lot of cues we can give to our partner that lets them know we are not prepared to hear the truth about what he/she is thinking or feeling.
Here is a quiz developed by Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson of the Couples Institute that can help you to evaluate your typical responses to your partner:
When my partner begins to reveal a truth, emotion, or a disturbing aspect of himself or herself, I….
|Look forward to the conversation
|Listen very carefully and non- defensively
|Ask for more information
|Coordinate with my partner and if necessary, negotiate a better time to talk
|Try to draw out a more complete understanding of his/her perspective
|Tell myself to stay calm and attentive
|Tell myself not to take personally what is being said
|Recognize and appreciate the risk taken to self- disclosure
|Compliment myself for encouraging the truth
When I hear my partner saying something I really don’t want to hear, I….
|Believe it’s mostly my fault
|Withdraw and pout
|Counterattack and blame
|Don’t’ say much now but will dump on him/her later
|Use the silent treatment or cold shoulder
|Interrupt and change the topic
|Tell him/her why he/she is wrong
|Pretend to listen but tune out and don’t remember a word that was said
Add up your totals for each column
- Column 1 = 1 point,
- Column 2 = 3 points,
- Column 3 = 5 points
9-18 Congratulations for your honesty
18-27 Watch out for your tendencies to discourage truth telling
27-45 You’re on a great track. You really know that eliciting the truth builds a stronger foundation
This quiz can be a helpful tool for increasing your awareness of the ways you may be encouraging and discouraging your partner’s truthfulness.