What is your reaction to, "Honey, we need to talk?"?
I know I dread this statement, and I am not sure if I have ever said it myself, but if I have, it has been rare. For me, when I hear it, it is with dread. I feel like my S/O has some complaint to make and it puts me on the defensive. Anther statement she could make that would make my heart sink is, “I’ve been thinking” (always a bad idea).
These statements always seem to presage some sort of unpleasantness. Either she has a complaint, or she wants me to do something that I would not ordinarily want to do.
I guess it never occurs to me to say that we need to talk. If we need to talk, we talk. Right? If I have an idea, I’ll express it. I’m not going to announce it first—not usually, anyway.
But if we need to talk, then I must have done something wrong, is how I usually feel. She never announces a need to talk, otherwise. So she’s preparing me. She puts me on guard. And after that, of course, it’s hard to react without being defensive.
The same seems to be true at work, too. In fact, I think I hate “talking” in the “we need to talk” sense. It is never good. Always a problem. Never happy.
How do you feel when you hear that? Do you ever say it? If you do, do you mean to put people on the defensive? What do you mean? Why do you say it that way?