Sometimes you may port with a friend to get something off your chest however, if you would like to really change the way your relationships move forward and help YOU become a better version of yourself, this report shares a simple how-to formula to get over the fundamental fears all people have when discussing their feelings in relationships.
This post is not a permission to blab and just say what is on your mind. A good deal of people are doing that on social networking and off-line to your face, these days – and we’re not seeing plenty of benefit from that.
When we think about how much arbitrary emotion is being expressed in the world, you might start to wonder if emotion has been hidden by our cultural socialisation for this a long time – and now we are just starting to take the lid off of it so that it now gets expressed in random circumstances and in ways that doesn’t have any regulation or a stop button.
It’s also not only negative emotions which we struggle to express.
Or find it squeamish to give a compliment to someone just because you feel authentically inspired by them.
Somehow, in the socialisation of young children we have made the expression of emotions ; OK occasionally, OK not other times. And in terms of positive emotions we also have become really tainted and boring about celebrating them.
What once was natural for us as kids to express glee, joy and bliss gets awkward and uncalled for when we are an adult or a teenager.
So it got me wondering why, when and how do we transition from readily expressing joy or sadness to fighting that.
For each of us there is the stage or an age or event or a series of gathered events where a growing kid stops enjoying who they are and become more worried about how they are perceived and received by others. The tipping point, where you concentrate more on who you think you need to be – to be acceptable – is unique for each person.
Why we want someone to accept us is very much about survival. The more someone likes you, the more likely you will be accepted as a member of the tribe that looks after you.
But if you can not be honest with your feelings, subconsciously you feel the cost. And the price tag is: you can not be your authentic self. But you’re ready to reduce your authenticity or clarify your requirements or your point of view in order to”maintain” the perceived status quo, not rock the boat and go together with the tribe – and your perception of what the tribe considers.
If you grew up in a traditional family structure, you know what that means: you have to turn up for family dinners, you don’t speak about certain topics with particular family members, you can’t talk about that hot topic because it’s taboo. In personal relationships, some of those have to include: I must reply to texts instantly, I have to like what my loved one does or who they hang etc..
What I have learnt working with individuals is that a person will spend more energy in concealing their authentic self and feelings than risking speaking up for many diverse fears such as:
Fear of upsetting someone with a touchy issue (politics, trauma, bad experience previously )
Being seen as weak, not self-sufficient and not competent
not being like “everyone else” (the tribe)
Fear of pushing back because you may create conflict
Fear of being seen as contrary to the group
Fear of being too independent or viewed as selfish, putting your needs before others
Folks create great stories about why others may not have the ability to manage their feelings. And this is always influenced by the culture’s interpretations of what is appropriate.
On the personal level, we put plenty of energy into sustaining the cultural narrative about what’s appropriate in our heads, as opposed to actually talking with people to share what is going on for us.
Part of the struggle in modern society, is that cultural norms are shifting and while we wish to measure our expression of feelings from the previous cultural norms – they’ve shifted to a level where we’re no longer sure of the way to be”respectful” of others while also being authentic and expressing our individual needs. In the past, people’s roles were pretty clear, but now there’s so much more freedom about how you can behave. That makes people a little crazy because they actually do not know what to do with the new found freedom. And then occasionally revert back to previous cultural norms where you”should” do what the tribe said.
So if you’re wanting to be respectful and authentic in expressing your feelings here is a basic formula.
This is best performed face-to-face. If you’re bad at face to face – you can try this through text, however your body will feel more relaxed if you’re face to face.
Start your conversation with the intent to connect with the person and have the best outcome for the two of you.
Begin your expression by foregrounding something you love about the person like”hey I truly think about you when I hear that tune x” remember a memory you have together, recall something which connects the two of you in a fantastic way or something interesting that they’ll connect with. Think about telling the individual”look I’m concerned about x, but I want to discuss something with you”. Don’t hide your fear, but do not make it a sob story. Tell them simply what you are concern is and then proceed straight to sharing. Do not use the word fear, use a phrase like”I’m concerned” or make it even more vague like”I was thinking x”.
Tell them exactly what you need at the simplest shortest way possible (without a narrative ) and then be quiet. Wait for them to react, have a look at their face, breathing, body language. And you will be much better off staying quite – because that gives them the signal that you would like them to speak.
If they don’t talk after a long time, prompt them – what do you think?
Each relationship will have its own quirks.
So not everyone will be civil, sit down and listen. And you may need to tweak the words to suit that individual’s language style.
But what I’ve learnt from step 1 – just focussing on the intent of the best outcome for the connection has made individuals who normally wouldn’t chat – soften and be responsive and natural.
From Step 2, foregrounding whatever you like about the relationship has also had enormous results. It’s made people soften, opened up conversations to flow in way that was utterly unexpected, got the other person to begin telling stories that they never shared and resulted in family outings that never would have occurred… and so on.
So for the touch cases, concentrate on Steps 1 and 2… and wait til the moment arises that you air the remainder. At times, you may not have to, occasionally steps 1 and 2 have allowed something to change in the’attitude’ between the two individuals where matters fall into a better rhythm so your perceived anxiety – is really not real – and you see that you needed to connect with the individual.
We often forget that focusing on what is good about a relationship actually makes the relationship happen in any respect.
What you were so easily able to leap and observe when you were a child – is also what makes a connection easy to jump up and down about as an adult.