Is your relationship causing you stress? Not sure how to communicate how you feel without getting into a fight? The following are some tools that may help. I call it, Connecting Conversation for Couples. If you’d like to learn more about couples counselling, contact Kendra.
First things first; While communicating with your partner, remember that there is no absolute reality. Individual realities arise through perception, which is determined by past experiences. Therefore, there are always two subjective realities present within a partnership.
Awareness is the first step. Based on the above paragraph, you are now aware of the subjective nature of any dialogue or other form of communication within a partnership. Note that touch, eye contact, body language, and written words are other forms of communication and are equally as important as verbal conversation.
Practicing connecting communication is the next step. Here, you are developing skills in connecting communication both verbally and otherwise.
Remember the steps 1. Awareness and 2. Practice. This is not a beginning and end, but rather a continual cycle of awareness and practice. Awareness leads to practicing, which leads to deeper levels of awareness. Once you become aware (step 1) you act accordingly (step 2). Once the practice is implemented, together you will find new levels and areas of awareness to work with and practice.
The following exercise is based on one or both of the partners being triggered during any form of communication.
Step 1. is to be conducted alone by writing down all the information regarding steps a-c
- Awareness: Part 1
- Identify the Moment: Specify a moment or moments during a form of communication you felt hurt, vulnerable, shaky, short of breath, scared, angry, or negative in any regard.
- Identify a Negative Thought: What was the most negative thought that was going through your head at that moment? Ex. “We’re breaking up,” “(S)he doesn’t care about me at all,” “I’m all alone” or “I’m never going to be good enough.”
- Identify Deeper Feelings: What feelings arose in that moment? What feeling comes up now when you remember the negative though associated with that moment?
This is a great start. To learn steps 2-4 and integrate these practices into your life please contact Kendra to book a session with your partner.