Most reactivity in intimate relationships comes from a lack of confidence in maintaining intimacy, autonomy, or security. What may help is naming what's happening, interrupting shame, and anchoring or reassuring yourself. You can also reflect on the effects of acting from reactivity. Knowing what helps center you, ask your partner to do or say specific things that might help. Read on for more.
In healing reactivity try identifying your most common complaints, wishes, or requests. Or when you tend to defend, justify, get angry, or protect. Find the tender needs. You can recall when you experienced deep nourishment of that need. Several times a week nourish your tender needs. Be clear about the strategy to address needs by answering key questions. Read on for more.
Is there someone you wish was more willing? Try guessing what obstacles they might be struggling with. And allow yourself to feel your grief. As you grapple with your own desire for someone to find their willingness, its essential to recognize that this is about you and your needs. You can also express your needs honestly, make requests for how to collaborate, and be responsive to what they want. Read on for more on this, plus four common ways someone’s willingness might be blocked.
To tell the difference between empathy and investigation, watch for distinctions along four different dimensions: energy, subject, intention and trust. These distinctions can help us engage awareness and skill to meet your needs and respond to others’ needs in more direct ways. The more you meet your needs in conscious and direct ways, the more present you can be for others. Read on for more about how to do this.
Shared vulnerability can build more intimacy, mutuality, being seen and heard, empathy, or community. Inviting shared vulnerability means earning another’s trust that you can consistently offer attentive, curious, and compassionate listening. Here are four strategies to invite shared vulnerability.
Misunderstandings can be painful. We can easily avoid this by checking what the other person understood from what we said, and ask the other person to do the same. Doing this is especially important when it comes to planning, shared decision-making, and when emotions are strong. Also, the more someone knows you, the more they think they already know what you mean -- which can get in the way of really hearing you. Here are a variety of ways to approach this simple strategy.
Effective and connected dialogue requires significant self-awareness, mindfulness, and skill. You can focus on any of these six areas that most often escape your awareness: anchoring and staying grounded; boundaries; thoughts and beliefs; stuckness or attachment; feelings and needs; and requests. Read on for a list of questions to help you focus on how to do that.
In general, criticism is a reactive response discomfort. When someone criticizes, they are not yet able or willing take responsibility for their needs. All criticism is a tragic expression of feelings and unmet needs. When you meet that criticism skillfully you not only care for yourself, you can facilitate clarity, and constructive communication, about what the other person is truly asking for.