Trainer Tip: People tend to look, act, and sound softer when they have been more fully heard. If you're unsure whether someone has been heard and you want to be cautious, you may ask them, “Is there anything else you’d like me to hear?”. If you try to reason with or educate them before they're heard, they'll likely respond negatively. After they're heard, you may notice a willingness on their part to listen and proceed.
Differentiation is being who you are in the presence of who they are. Its a process of connecting to and honoring your own experience, acting in integrity with your values, and engaging in collaboration with others to meet needs. If you're happier when you are not in an intimate relationship you may have developed your individuality but likely have difficulty with differentiation. Learn core skills and behaviors that support differentiation.
Trainer Tip: When have you responded in a way you didn’t want? How could you have handled that situation differently? What would have better met your needs? Try not to judge your behavior, but learn from it. Each time we review our actions, we can learn something, become more adept at new skills, and come closer to our ideal. We can do this with the learning curve of practicing translating people’s words into feelings and needs.
If we befriend our fear we cannot be paralyzed by it. Every fear that arises is a moment to increase our capacity. Fear is connected to something that is precious to us. We also can see what we do to numb our pain and how we try to avoid it. This knowledge can help us to choose healthier strategies to deal with our fears.