How to Share the 6 Intimacy Skills with a Friend

How to Share the 6 Intimacy Skills with a Friend

3 Ways to Open the Door without Making Her Feel Defensive

I’ve received a lot of requests for a blog on how to share Intimacy Skills with a sister, mom, daughter or friend.

Seems we all know a woman or two who’s having a tough time in her relationship.

Maybe you listen to her vent or you’re her shoulder to cry on.

You wish you could help her, but sometimes her relationship problems feel insurmountable, or she doesn’t seem open to hearing about what she could be doing differently.

You want to be supportive, but listening to her NET (Needless Emotional Turmoil) is no fun.

You’d love to see her feeling desired, cherished and adored by her man, and you’re wondering how to get the message across without insulting her.

You want to show her some resources, but how?

Here are 3 ways to help a friend get Intimacy Skills. Click To Tweet

Step 1: Listen and Empathize

If your friend is complaining about how her husband is mentally or verbally abusive, or how she suspects he’s cheating on her, you might feel overwhelmed about how to help her.

One great way to support her is just to listen and empathize by putting yourself in her shoes and reflecting on how it would feel to be her.

Saying to your friend or sister or daughter “That sounds exhausting” or “I’d be so hurt” will go a long way toward making her feel heard and understood.

If I don’t feel heard, I’m not very open to anything. Mostly I just repeat myself until I think I’ve gotten my message across.

We all have a deep need to be heard and understood. Giving a loved one that gift is one of the best ways I can think of to support her.

Once you validate her feelings, she’s going to be more open to listening to what you have to say.

Step 2: Relate to Her

You might think you have never been through anything like what she’s talking about and therefore you can’t relate. At all.

Even if you don’t have exactly the same story, you probably have had challenges in your relationship that felt insurmountable or heartbreaking.

Maybe you couldn’t see eye to eye on something important–like your faith or how to parent the kids or spend money.

Maybe you’ve been through a rough patch that you didn’t know how to solve. Like the time your husband was so mean to your son and you intervened and it turned into a big fight.

It’s not the same, that’s for sure, and you might say that up front. But sharing your own struggle that shows you don’t have the perfect life is a great way to say “I relate to you. I’ve been there and I won’t judge you.”

She’ll feel safer, which means less defensive. In other words, being vulnerable yourself will help her be open to listening to what you say next.

Step 3: Let Her Be the Expert on Her Life

Now that your friend or family member feels heard and understood, and she knows you’re not perfect either, she may be open to hearing about something that was helpful for you.

Next you want to let her decide what’s best for her.

Maybe you will invite her to read a free chapter of The Empowered Wife, which outlines the 6 Intimacy Skills™ step by step.

Or if she’s a visual person, you could invite her to watch the Empowered Wives TV series on Amazon.

You might invite her to come to The Cherished for Life Weekend for a girls’ weekend.

She’ll know if any of those appeals to her, but if they don’t, you might just let her know that you trust her to know what’s best for her.

Here’s why: My dad loves the book Clan of the Cave Bear and he’s been after me for years to read it, but I never have.

I’m sure Clan is a great book. I’m even willing to bet that if I did read it, I’d enjoy it. I respect my dad, and his taste in books has long influenced mine.

But I can’t open that book because dad is so attached to me reading it. He’s been insisting that I must read it for so long that I get all rebellious and contrary the minute he mentions it again.

If he had stuck to saying how much he enjoyed it or saying how much it made him look at things differently, I probably would have read the whole series years ago.

As it is, my inner response is “You can’t make me!”

As a mere mortal woman, I can’t get around my compulsion to be autonomous long enough to crack that book open.

The more he urges me to read it, the heavier that book gets.

If you were to tell your friend she should check out a book or a show, she might also find that hill too steep to climb.

But if you invite her to check something out or tell her how much you got out of it, she’ll probably feel more open.

As with all of us, only she knows what’s best for her.

The 6 Intimacy Skills might not fit for her. Truly.

But then again, they might.

And if they do, she just might find a way to make her marriage magical again.

And you will be an amazing friend for introducing them to her.

Have you ever shared what you’ve learned about relationships with a friend or family member? How did it go? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.


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12 thoughts on “How to Share the 6 Intimacy Skills with a Friend”

  1. Hi Laura,

    After quite the embarrassing performance last night, my husband told me how I am failing him. I am controlling, not paying enough attention to his needs (outside of my “normal” duties) and I speak on things like I am an expert, when I am clearly not. While I am thankful for his feedback, I do have a question. Is his “disrespect” towards me a direct reflection of how I am acting? He was blunt and cruel in some of the things he said and he himself is very critical and controlling. I just finished (oh, the irony) Empowered Wife after the explosion, but I didn’t pick up on that part. Am I creating the critical/controlling husband?

    Your book has been so eye opening that I now feel more lost, but committed to start making a change, somehow.

    Reply
    • Ouch, Lis, I know it hurts to hear that right when you’re resolving to change. I so admire your commitment and courage to make a change. I love your awareness and invite you to be gentle on yourself. I still don’t practice the 6 Intimacy Skills perfectly myself! Thankfully, now that I’ve been at it a while, there’s plenty of grace to cushion me when I do slip up. I would love for you to have the playful, passionate marriage that I–and thousands others who practice the Intimacy Skills–now enjoy. For more on how to create the respectful culture I hear you want in your home, I invite you to a free webinar coming up, called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here: https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/

      Reply
    • I recently heard from a very smart woman, that whenever we attempt to make a change in our previously established behavior, reaction or attitudes, there will bring a form of resistance to challenge us. I try to keep that in mind so if I do fail, I remind myself “Aha! That’s the resistance ! Try again”
      Good luck!

      Reply
  2. I started forwarding your emails to my friend Jeanne and my friend Sal. Jeanne has begun to read some other material and take steps to turn her relationship around. Sal has decided that the relationship was creating an emotional downward spiral for her and broke it off. Jeanne and I have started talking about the changes and how things are going in our quest to have and enjoy our marriages.

    Reply
    • Julie, it sounds like they are so lucky to have a friend like you! I love that you’ve had a hand in turning your friend’s relationship around! Kudos for relinquishing control, regardless of what your friends did with the information you shared.

      Reply
  3. Giving my husband respect and following your advice has had a tremendous impact on my life and my marriage. Thank you!
    My question today has nothing to do with the topic of sharing with friends. But something just happens, that bithers and hurts me a lot and its something that happens frequently, although it plays itself out in different ways.
    My husband is somewhat selfish and self centered and has a hard time putting other people’s needs and feelings ahead of himself. He will help, assist and give money only if he wants to. This hurts me ( of course) and it hurts me additionally when he hurts others as well. This would include not calling his parents, ignoring phone calls from our oldest married son, (he still calls almost every Sunday out of respect), barely acknowledging our children that are still home etc, unless he’s in the mood. He could give them a great fun time if he wants to. HOW CAN I RESPECT SUCH BEHAVIOR? Just now, my 16 year old son asked my husband if he’d drive him to school on the way to work. It’s raining & he’d be leaving at the right time anyways. He would hardly be going out of his way. Our son hardly asks him for anything as it is and has almost no relationship with him. And my husband answered him coldly “maybe”. I felt like I’d explode!! My son left the house humiliated and in tears. I said nothing to my husband when he left a few minutes later to work. How can I respect that???? I’m hurt and I’m seething! It’s so hard to be respectful of such an attitude.
    PLEASE give me some perspective on this so I don’t mess up.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Connie, I can see why you’re feeling so hurt right now! I really admire your commitment to maintaining the intimacy in your marriage, even when you feel ready to explode. I so relate to feeling I could not respect my husband’s behavior. Once I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills, which gave me concrete tools to show respect, amazingly HIS behavior started to change! Now he wants to do whatever he can to please me. I would love to see you empowered to change the culture in your home too. I invite you to check out my TV series Empowered Wives, which is free if you’re an Amazon Prime member, or with a free 1-month trial of Prime, at https://goo.gl/iPPQZG. Episode 10, “Amy,” might interest you in particular by showing how to deal with different modes of parenting.

      Reply
  4. I shared some of my SWEW experience with my niece and she asked me to send her more information. She is 30 yrs. old, two years married and just had her first baby. This is a second marriage for her husband and he has two children. I know she would be resistant to some of the skills, seeing it as surrendering her independence and LD talks about this. At least she’s interested! I sent her the link to listen to the webinar.

    Reply
    • Darra, it sounds like you’re an attractive model of surrendering! I acknowledge you for sharing your experience without expectations, offering her resources that interested her, and for being such a caring aunt! I can’t wait to hear how it goes for her.

      Reply
  5. I have bought your book “Kill All The Marriage Counselors” and sent it to several of my friends who were struggling. I have heard many good responses. Your books, shows, and blogs have really changed my thinking and helped me see things in a different light. I have a wonderful marriage to a great guy, but I didn’t always respect him. Once I started with the six intimacy skills my marriage has changed for the better and I am so much happier. He is so much happier as well! I am now trying to get everyone I know to try the six intimacy skills because I truly believe they work. They have helped me be a more confident person all around. I tried to help my cousin with her relationship, but not everything translated to a same sex marriage. I know that the Intimacy skills work in every relationship I have, but when she listened to part of your book online it was geared only to men and women so she chose to ignore it and they broke up. I am wondering if your new book includes same sex marriage advice?

    Reply
    • Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear about your cousin breaking up! It’s hard to see that happen when you love someone and want the best for her.

      As you already know, my work is based on my experience as a heterosexual woman married to a man, so that’s the angle I write from. I can see why that would be off-putting to a lesbian, but to my surprise, it hasn’t put them all off. There’s nothing in any of the books about same-sex couples, but we have seen lesbians use the Intimacy Skills with great success in our Diamond private coaching program.

      I can certainly see why your cousin felt excluded by my talk of the differences between men and women. It must have taken such courage for the first lesbians who practiced Intimacy Skills! I admire that kind of courage. Another way to describe those differences is yin and yang. But your point is well-taken.

      I wasn’t ready for the Intimacy Skills myself until I was ready for them, and who knows if I would have even been open to them if I had heard about them from someone who had completely different preferences from me. The Intimacy Skills are there waiting for everyone who wants to experiment with them and is driven to create a playful, passionate relationship. I’m doing all I can to support women in transforming their relationships and am growing to meet the demand as fast as I can. I appreciate your input.

      Congratulations on having the courage to not only make your own relationship great but to share about your experience with women you know. Thank you for spreading the message and being on my mission to end world divorce. I’m so grateful for your support!

      Reply

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