Creating an Internal Secure Base

Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 5 - 8 minutes
We each hold an internal model or set of expectations about how caring and comfort could be accessed in relationship. The ability to reflect upon and challenge our own dominant model of perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors --and to experience discomfort and vulnerability-- is a key feature of "security". If not, an "attachment reactivity" arises -- where sense of insecurity, separateness, and belief that love, and acceptance can't be trusted nor accessed reliably. Thus change would require intensive support. Here's a guide to help you reflect and access change.
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When You Are Being "Talked At"

Beginner Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 5 - 8 minutes
Has someone ever talked to you to the extent that you're no longer enjoying it, and you now wonder if they even know you're there? Learn ways to bring in emotional understanding, engage more honestly and open-heartedly, and bridge next steps to the type of conversation that engages everyone's needs.
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Using an Anchor in Self Empathy

Beginner Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 5 - 8 minutes
An anchor awakens parts of you that can access a bigger perspective. It calms and helps you engage presence for greater access to your skills. Also, it can reduce your reactivity, increase conscious relating, and support self-compassion. An anchor helps you get a little bit bigger than the reactivity you are experiencing so that you can access a wiser discernment. It is simple, and can be done anytime and anywhere. Learn more about how to develop your anchor in self-empathy.
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Asking to be Known

Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 7 - 12 minutes
There are various ways to be known. Learn how to engage and make clear requests accordingly. This includes getting clear in yourself about what exactly you want known; communicating how important it is to you; sharing examples in your life of being known; requesting and negotiating from the energy of the met need; letting the other person know whether or not the relationship is really sustainable for you if the need goes unmet long-term; and checking the other person's capacity.
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Secure Differentiation

Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 4 - 6 minutes
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.
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Finding Courage

Beginner Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 2 - 4 minutes
Telling yourself to be a certain way or have more of a certain quality (like courage), is a set-up for self-criticism and possibly freezing or avoiding. Instead, access effective action by asking yourself questions like: "If I could be or have that, what actions would be different inside or out?" "If I could be or have that, what needs would be met and knowing those are the needs, what could I do or ask for that would meet those needs?"
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Inviting Depth in Conversation

Beginner Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 3 - 5 minutes
Conversation can become more satisfying with depth. Depth is occurs when connection unfolds towards a depth of intimacy, presence, attunement, sensing -- and silent connection where another is attentively seen and heard. Inviting this level of sharing in conversation relies on at least three major elements: attentive silence, the desire to connect and be known, and focus on present moment experience. Learn more about this way of engaging.
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Building Trust

Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 3 - 5 minutes
How is trust best supported? Do you know what you do to contribute to making it easier or more difficult for others to express the truth (even in the most mundane moments)? Smaller requests can also built trust over time if they're rooted in the present moment, and are specific enough. Learn more about building trust...
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Privacy vs. Secrecy & Boundaries

Intermediate Skill Level  •  Article  •  Read time: 3 - 5 minutes
What's the real reason you choose to talk about something or not? "Privacy" can become a misplaced label that's used to hide harmful behaviour. Secrets typically come from reactivity -- and can carry shame, fear or threat of harm, and take a toll. And yet, if something private gets mislabeled as a "secret" it can also trigger shame and fear. The key to all this may be in relating to privacy from a place of clear differentiation, boundaries, agency, care and discernment.
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Connection Central: Nonviolent Communication Articles (NVC)
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