The Emotional Communication Game
The Emotional Communication Game
This game is to be done in the spirit of fun and provides the partners with an opportunity to learn how to better read each other’s communications.
In this game, partners take turns as sender and receiver. The sender chooses a particular question he or she wishes to send and asks the receiver the question out loud. The sender circles choice a, b, or c, the choice that best describes what she or he meant by the question. The receiver chooses choice a, b, or c on her or his sheet as well, guessing what the sender meant by the question. What did the sender send or try to send? What did the receiver pick up on or miss? The couple then compares and discusses their answers. They then go on to the next item, switching roles. The game can be played 60 times without repeating itself.
Are you going to do the dishes?
- You are angry that you have done them every night last week, and you think it is his (her) turn.
- You are pleasantly surprised that she (he) seems to be about to do the dishes.
- You are just asking for information because you are not sure whose turn it is.
Do you think it’s going to storm?
- You hope it will storm and that the two of you can enjoy watching the storm together.
- You hope it won’t storm and ruin your plans for tomorrow’s outing.
- You are asking for information, whether he (she) has seen a weather forecast.
Are you going to work on Thursday night?
- You are expecting house guests this weekend, and you would like help getting the house ready. You do not want him (her) to work then.
- You are just anxious because you were thinking you also could use the evening to work.
- You are reminding him (her) of his (her) commitment to get this work done.
Is it cold In here?
- You are wondering if it is cold or if it is just you, perhaps coming down with an illness.
- You want the heat turned up and want your partner to do it.
- You want to snuggle.
Oh, are we having tuna casserole?
- You are disappointed because you have had this for dinner a lot lately.
- You like tuna casserole and are pleasantly surprised.
- You are neither positive nor negative about it, just asking for information.
What kind of gift would you like for your birthday this year?
- You have no idea what to get as a gift and are probing for some information.
- Because of finances, you are hoping that your partner will agree to spend just a small amount this year on birthdays.
- You want to throw a really big party for your partner this year and are very excited about planning it together.
My mother is coming for a visit
- You are dreading the visit and want your partner’s support.
- You are genuinely excited that she is coming.
- You are neither excited nor worried, just informing your partner of the visit.
Are you busy right now?
- You want to know if your partner is too busy to talk.
- You want to talk over an issue between you, and your partner keeps avoiding the issue by always being busy.
- There is no problem, but you would like to be close and talk, and you want some loving attention.
What do you think of this new dress (shirt)?
- You think the dress (shirt) is not flattering and want your partner’s support to return it.
- You think you look great in this and want a compliment.
- You are not sure about the dress (shirt) and want another opinion.
Did you take the garbage out?
- It was your turn to take the garbage out and you forgot, and you are hoping your partner remembered.
- Your partner keeps forgetting to do this chore, and you are getting annoyed
- You are just checking about whether this got done yet.
Your partner wants to buy some new kitchenware and you say, “How much will it cost?”
- You are just curious what the price is.
- You think this is a bad idea right now, and you are expressing your concern that you cannot afford this right now.
- You would also like to get these items and are hoping they are going to be affordable.
Do you want to eat out tonight?
- You really want to go out to your favorite romantic restaurant.
- You are really tired and hoping to just stay at home and have a quick, simple meal.
- You are indifferent to staying home or going out, but notice your spouse is tired and needs cheering up, and going out might be just the right thing to do.
Did you take the phone messages?
- You are annoyed that your spouse ignores the phone messages, and you have to take them.
- You are wondering if it is your spouse’s turn to do this or yours.
- You hate the phone message chore and are hoping your spouse will do it this time.
Did you put gas in my car?
- You are annoyed that whenever your spouse drives your car, the gas is never replaced.
- You are happy your spouse did you a favor and filled your tank for you.
- You are worried your car is on empty and are asking your spouse politely to put gas in your car.
Do you want to take a shower?
- You want to take a shower first and are checking if this is okay.
- You’d like the two of you to take a romantic shower together.
- You are being considerate and think your tired spouse might feel better after a shower.
Shall we get into our pajamas now?
- You’d like to make love.
- You see that your spouse is tired and think she or he ought to go to bed.
- It’s simply time to go to bed.
So what did the (our child’s) teacher say?
- You are worried about the teacher’s judgment of your child.
- You are curious what happened at the teacher conference.
- You are hoping the teacher praised your child’s recent superior performance in class.
Do you want me to clean up?
- You think it is your partner’s turn to clean up, not yours.
- You see your partner is tired and cleaning up, and you want to take over to give your partner some needed rest.
- You are just requesting information.
Can you help get things ready for this trip?
- You are annoyed that your spouse is not helping.
- You would like to know if your partner can do some of the errands to get ready.
- You are asking if your partner is too busy to help, which you know is probably the case.
Did you feel that last night went okay?
- You are feeling a bit guilty about having become so angry last night, and you are wondering if there are still hurt feelings from your discussion.
- You really enjoyed love-making last night and expect that your partner had a great time also and feels equally close to you. You want a bit of reassurance.
- You are still angry and upset about last night and need to talk about it, but think that your partner does not really want to discuss it.
Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to me here.