Frank conversations about everyone’s feelings, about what is happening between people, are necessary. Does this need to be proved separately? Teeth need brushing, hair washing. The earth needs rain. For the relationships to stay alive and develop, you need to talk about problems and feelings.
There are entire periods in a couple’s life when stress does not accumulate, mutual understanding is established, everything is openly clarified in the operating mode, and nothing critical happens. Then it is not necessary to extort piercing revelations from oneself.
- Is It Important to Talk About Feelings?
People need these conversations when someone stays silent about things that tear them apart and carries the weights of disturbing thoughts. When you are offended, disappointed, angry, feel the injustice. Experience a panic of affection, estrangement when there is an unresolved hanging conflict. When something happened, that needed clarification.
- Ways To Talk Openly and Not Be Afraid
So, how to talk about relationships when dating European ladies, get closer after the conversation, and not further? There are many recommendations.
Psychologist John Gottman found that the conversation most often ends on the same note on which it begins. If you start with harsh words, you will end with them and feel even more lonely. Gottman offers a crucial concept: a soft start to the conversation. According to the participants of his programs, this concept alone is changing the relationship drastically.
A harsh start is criticism, derogatory remarks, sarcasm, accusations, generalizations. Soft start, accordingly, is the one deprived of everything mentioned above. It implies talking about yourself and your feelings.
Harshly: “When will you finally do what I have asked for?”
Softly: “Listen, when I look at this shelf, I always think that we should change it. “I don’t want to sound obtrusive, but when will you do what I have asked for?”
Harshly: “Hmm, so did you even plan to spend the night at home today?”
Softly: “Why are you so late?”
How can you speak softly when it blows you away with a wave of resentment and anger? It looks good in a book, but it is very far from life. Of course, this is hard, but the benefits you get from learning this skill are much more valuable.
In non-violent communication, there is an algorithm for circumventing your painful feelings. The basis of this algorithm is self-empathy. That is the recognition and naming of your feelings to separate them from your actions and words. To call your feelings in words is very important. Magically, when we say, “I’m in grief now,” our pain becomes bearable.
Imagine that your beloved friend feels terrible. You would understand and sympathize with them, right? We all need to become such good friends to ourselves, especially when we feel bad. What exactly needs to be done?
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- What are your sensations in the body? Because we feel our senses with the body (chest tightens, hands tremble, your stomach aches).
- How do you feel?
- What request do you have for yourself or others?
Let’s say you say something to your partner, and they look at the phone. What is going on in your body? Breathing quickens, forehead tenses, lips tighten. What do you feel? Irritation, anger. What need is not satisfied now, and it hurts you? What is important to you? Your partner’s involvement and response are essential to you. This is one of the critical needs of attachment (remember: engagement, responsiveness, accessibility). What kind of request could help you get yourself together?
When you said all this to yourself, you gave yourself the right to feel this annoyance. You felt that such an urgent need was not satisfied, and it hurts, you will tell your partner about it more gently and explain using clear facts.
Remember that there are ears on the other side too. When pain and anger embrace us, it pulls us to burn everything to ashes. But everything that you say should remain between you and the partner. This understanding often stops us from starting a conversation on a painful subject: “We will end up quarreling.” But we have already discussed that silence puts us off and makes relationships formal, superficial.
It is necessary to speak, but do it carefully, listen to how you sound from the side. Instead of “You cannot be trusted with anything” — “You promised to drop me in at the clinic. When you forgot about it, I felt that I should keep everything under control myself, everything is on me. I don’t like being an angry controller. But I’m afraid to lose sight of at least something. And I’m very tired of this stress.”