At the last minute, he called and said he needs to change the plans.
Something’s come up. A work thing. He’s really sorry.
He’s done this before.
Does he think you’re just there any time he calls? That you don’t have a life as well?
And all of a sudden you realize that you’re just waiting for him. Again.
And you have every right to be.
But how do you express that to him in a way he can hear it?
You can yell, stomp your foot and call him names (though, as you can imagine, that’s not what I’m recommending here.)
And I don’t recommend ignoring your anger, either. Feel it. Acknowledge it.
Even play out all the accusations in your head:
“I can’t believe you did this again. You are so inconsiderate!”
“Do you ever think about anyone but yourself?”
“This is just narcissistic BS! I hate you!”
Those angry feelings might feel true in the moment, but expressing them to him won’t get you want you want.
Here’s a tip I talk about in my book, “How To Talk To A Man.”
Find the feeling underneath the anger.
When we’re angry, there is almost always another feeling, underneath, that is fueling our anger.
“I’m angry because I’m feeling frustrated.”
“I’m angry because I’m feeling overwhelmed.”
“I’m angry because I’m feeling lonely.”
“I’m angry because I’m feeling afraid.”
…or unhappy, or impatient, or discouraged…
These are the feelings to communicate to him about what’s going on with you. Your anger is a reaction to these feelings (however justified), but in order to get him to listen, you want to talk about the underlying feelings that are happening for you.
“You know, when you cancelled on me at the last minute, I was feeling super frustrated because I’d turned down an evening with my best friend. I know it was something last minute for you as well, but I need you to hear what was happening on my end, as well.”
“When you had to cancel our plans I felt really discouraged because we planned this for a couple of weeks, and this isn’t the first time this has happened.”
“When you didn’t make it over last night because of work, I found myself feeling very lonely. You know I work from home, so getting together with you is something I really look forward to.”
When you’re able to be clear, honest and vulnerable about what you’re feeling and how you experienced what happened, you greatly increase the likelihood that he can hear you – and you can move the conversation to resolving the issue.
When you look for and communicate the feeling underneath the anger you’re able to connect on a much deeper and more loving level.
Jeffrey Levine is a corporate coach and trained mediator (and Rori Raye’s husband) who works with both men and women to improve their communication, deepen their connection and remove the blocks that keep them from feeling and expressing love. He is the author of “How To Talk To A Man,” which contains invaluable advice, tools and solutions to help you avoid common relationship pitfalls, and clean things up when they go south. “Every moment presents a new choice for you: a decision about what you want – and what you believe you deserve.”