Communication is key especially in relationships. Partnerships require a level of vulnerability that can be frightening at times. Remember expressing difficult emotions does not mean confrontation. Follow these eight guidelines to help you communicate with your partner.
1. Understand how you are feeling
Before communicating your feelings to your partner, you must first understand how you truly feel. Take a second and write a list of your emotions.
2. Address your insecurities
Identify the thoughts associated with the emotions listed. Are your thoughts based on insecurities? Do your thoughts follow a persistent negative thought pattern?
3. Examine the evidence
Are your thoughts based on facts or assumptions? Our emotions can give us a false sense of reality. Just because we feel something strongly does not mean that it is a productive or healthy thought. For example, you may feel like you are stupid but if we examine the evidence we will likely find several facts that point to your brilliance.
4. Set the stage
After doing a self check up. Identify specific points to communicate with your partner. For example, I feel insecure about our relationship because…
5. Identify your needs
Now that you have identified your feelings and the thoughts associated; reflect on your needs. What would you like your partner to do? For example, I feel insecure because you decided to hang out with your friends instead of spending time with me. Moving forward, can we please plan our date nights in advance so that you can spend time with your friends and me?
6. Communicate Sis
Okay, you have done a quick self check up, challenged your negative thoughts, identified your feeling/thoughts and what is needed from your partner moving forward. It’s now time to communicate like a Queen.
Prior to expressing your emotions with your partner, be clear about what you are seeking from the conversation. If you just want to vent, communicate that with your partner. For example, I just want you to listen. I am not searching for a solution.
However, if you are expressing concern about a specific event ask for your partners patience and collaboration.
7. Listen to your partner
Allow your partner to express their feelings. Grant them space to process if needed. Validate your partners emotions and come up with an action plan moving forward.
Finally, give yourself a pat on the back because you just communicated like a BOSS. I am so proud of you Sis!
Okay, taking my therapist hat off now. Happy communicating.