asking your partner for a timeout

Overloaded, Overshared, and Overwhelmed? Stop Input & Output

Spread the love

I have a hard time not diving in for a resolution to any problem in my life or in an ongoing relationship (both professional and personal). As a BLG (Big Love Generator) I tend to overshare and overload the circuits of those around me, from time to time. I try to remain aware. I work on dialing it back. And still, I can easily blow some’s circuits with my aspirational goals and how I like to talk and write about them.

No More Input

At some point, I have to release my desired outcome and let go completely of the data flow. Sometimes, this looks like silence. When I notice a disconnect with a person I will begin to dial back my input and output channels. Perhaps we move from emotions and goals to logistics? “Do you want to go swimming this evening?”

Sometimes the desire for resolution or “success” feels like a fullcourt press to another person. I do tend to dive in looking for the answer to the problem. When, in fact, there is no problem, only a momentary break in the real-time synchronization process. In every relationship, we need time to catch up to one another.

Today, in business, I opened an email with an external team asking for clarity around their lack of responsiveness in solving what appeared to be a small problem, in my mind. I just opened a new email and asked my question. Moments later, I also moved to answer my own question with a solution I discovered on the web, where this external vendor seems to have resolved our issue for a different client. I jumped to the conclusion. I jumped the gap, the pause, the moment for this partner (business) to respond to my request.

More Than a Pause, A Stop Means Letting Go

Stopping the input, to me, means reducing the texts and emails, and calls to ZERO. Waiting for the other party to catch up, process, and formulate a way forward, or solution. Or, at least, an opening for the exploration of the answer.

Sometimes, mindful pausing can seem like ghosting. But it’s quite different. Here’s an example.

Ghosting: the act of not responding as a passive-aggressive move.

Mindful Pause: the question has been asked, the response from them will be delivered in tehir own time, even if they choose not to respond (or ghost) they are giving you their answer.

Impatience and Dominance

In the course of my type-a day, I am often pressing others for answers. In business, this may look like the example above. In a relationship, this may appear as aggressive or dominant. But I think it’s slightly different. Dominate means: I’ve asked the question, I want your answer. Mindful means: I’ve asked for what I want, now I’m going to give you all the time AND space for responding, without ANY ADDITIONAL INPUT OR REQUESTS FROM ME.

Do you see how this approach may feel like ghosting or impatience, but is actually more about giving them “space” to formulate whatever conclusion they need to articulate. If they choose not to respond, that is an answer.

Looking for the YES, Finding Another NO

In relationship-building, we are striving for the YES. As we move deeper into any relationship we are looking to build trust together, learn and adapt to the cadence and language of the potential partner, and reduce the disconnects that come from flooding, oversharing, or their opposite ghosting. And, even the quest for the YES can be exhausting.

Before you jump to the conclusion that the answer is NO, give it a rest. Take a time-out of your own. Go swimming alone. Recover your center. WAIT for the other person to reach out when they are ready.

You cannot force an answer. You cannot demand a YES. You cannot gloss over a NO by giving more feedback, or asking more questions. A NO is a hard pass. When pushing against a NO it might be easy to get frustrated or come across as aggressive or impatient. The better move is to relax, breathe into the fact that you ASKED YOUR QUESTION, and then let go of the outcome.

The ultimate answer is not about you. The ultimate YES or NO is about them. Give them the space and respect to find the answer for themselves. Your relationship will grow in healthier and more organic ways if you can listen MORE THAN 50% of the time. << I’m awful at that goal. I’m getting better. I’m conscious every day of when I’m heating up the communication networks with too many requests, too many jokes, too many helpful hints, questions, ideas.

rest easy

Rest Easy

Breathing together is a great way to move beneath the words. Silence and distance (physical, emotional, spiritual) have a way of allowing each of us to find clarity and truth within ourselves, BEFORE venturing an answer. Again, the gap is hard for me. Waiting for an answer as well as letting go of the outcome is a truly zen move. If I can let go of the outcome and merely state my request, my partner has an opportunity to pause and listen to their own hearts, and arrive at their own truth before responding to me. If I can communicate my patience and pause in a non-aggressive way, I am also lessening the intensity and pressure on their response.

TRUTH: I let go, completely, I am supported by the answers from the universe. I am supported by the thoughtful response of my partner in whatever way they need to respond.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
Facebook  | Instagram | Pinterest |  @wholeparent

Related posts:


You can find all of my books on AMAZON.

Dating 2.0

Spread the love