Obi-Wan used his words and hands to persuade others to believe what he said
Relationships by Terah Harrison
In the movie Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi used the Jedi mind-trick to persuade Imperial stormtroopers to simply move along. He did this by just waving his hand and telling the guards what to think and say. Obi-Wan didn’t have this skill from birth. He went through extensive training to develop it. Well — and I’m speaking to the guys here — there’s a mind-trick that works on women, but it takes training to master.
When a man approaches another man to talk about something, he expects to state a problem and receive a solution. Problem solving comes naturally to men — no wonder many want to solve the problems that women discuss with them. This might be a mistake. Often, a woman isn’t looking for a solution when talking to you. If she it, she’ll ask for it. What she might be looking for is a simple connection through emotions.
The key to listening to a woman is a little phrase called reflective listening, which can sound like you’re just repeating back to your partner what she just said, but you’re not. What a woman needs is for you to understand how she feels about what she is telling you. Reflective listening isn’t about words, it’s about emotion. Her facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and pace of words can be more important than the words themselves. For example, if your wife approaches you wanting to talk, you may notice her hands crossed in front of her body, her foot tapping and a grimace on her face. With a tense voice she speaks of her day at work. Your first instinct may be to offer advice, but try to refrain and instead deduce her mood from the clues thrown off by her body language. Try throwing out an emotion such as, “That’s frustrating!” See what happens. If you’re right, score! If you are wrong, that’s okay too. Most likely, that’ll open up the conversation so she’ll tell you how she is really feeling. Either way, she is probably thinking you are a pretty great guy for trying to understand.
When women talk to each other they are generally seeking connection through conversation. When women talk to men, they are expecting the same. This is where women go wrong. It is important for women to understand that men are not wired to understand feelings through conversation, and it’s difficult for them to do so. It can be frustrating for men to not be able to solve a problem when presented with one. When talking to a man, help him help you by being up front about what you need in a conversation. This can sound like, “I don’t need you to solve this for me; I just need you to listen.”
Obi-Wan used his words and his hands to persuade others to believe what he said. I am not suggesting you try this exactly — waving your hands in front of your partner’s face will probably just make you look silly. The human version of this mind-trick involves identifying what she is feeling and then telling her. She will then feel validated, and you will become her Obi Wan. This is not a skill easily developed — it might even take Jedi-like training to master.
Terah Harrison is a licensed professional counselor and owner of Therapeutically Chosen, LLC, where she specializes in relationship counseling for singles and couples as well as matchmaking.