“How was your day, honey?”
If you’re like most people, you probably say this to your spouse to connect at the end of the day.
However, if one of you is a graphic designer and the other is a motivational speaker, your days are going to sound like different planets.
MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: “I stood up on stage and inspired 1000 people. They were a really fun crowd”
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: “That’s great honey. I’ve been staring into a screen designing a logo for my new client’s website. She’s an accountant who…”
See how poles apart those two experiences are? And instead of bonding you together, the answer to “How was your day, honey?” could wind up making you feel less connected to each other – the exact opposite of what you set out to accomplish.
If you want to connect with your spouse, you need to find common ground… and not just any common ground, but emotional common ground.
General questions like “How was your day, honey?” don’t work well for connecting, because they make finding common ground as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.
6 Questions That Connect You Together
A easy way to find emotional common ground is to ask questions that zoom in on the emotional landscape of your spouse’s day. Here are some examples from Glennon Melton’s article that inspired this post.
- When did you feel loved today?
- When did you feel really great today?
- When did you feel lonely?
- What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?
- What did I say that made you feel unnoticed?
- What can I do to help you right now?
Notice how each question highlights a particular emotion that almost everyone feels at some point each day.
So, here’s how it might come together:
YOU: “When did you feel really great today?, honey”
THEM: “I was thrilled when my boss came and told me I did a great job with presentation…”
YOU: “That’s wonderful. I felt so cherished when you texted me that you love me…”
Notice how this kind of question is far more likely to elicit emotionally rich responses from each other – the kind of responses that promote intimacy and connection.
Like most communication techniques that work in a relationship, you can use these with your friends, kids, boss – anyone.
Let me know if you have any other great questions you’d add to this list.