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.
Trainer Tip: To reduce defensiveness and hurt feelings when talking to your partner about your sexual needs that haven't been met, keep the conversation focused on your needs, not her lack of skill, and make a very specific request. From there, you can both explore any shared needs, blocks, or support needed to bring you both closer to your needs.
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.
Trainer Tip: Find your deepest need. Then notice when you do things, or have done things, that keep you from meeting your most important need. And then take conscious action that is in alignment with the need you want to meet.
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.
A big part of why receiving feedback is so challenging is because so few people around us know how to give feedback untainted with criticism, judgment, or our personal upset. But, if we wait for others to offer us usable, digestible, manageable feedback, we will not likely receive sufficient feedback for our growth and learning. Instead, we can grow in our capacity to fish the pearl that’s buried within. Here are three specific suggestions for how.
Trainer Tip: To defuse anger and create space for resolution, hear the other person’s feelings and needs. If this practice is new to you, you're like to experience fear and resistance in trying it out. However, you'll be more likely to experience a powerful shift, and build your capacity, if you try it anyways.
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.
Trainer Tip: Our inner critic judges ourselves and other people; and it is the most likely to get scared when we begin to make a change. It holds wisdom for us if we are willing to listen. When we acknowledge our inner critic and empathize with its need, we gain insights into ourselves and we clear the way for resolution.
Trainer Tip: When we try to make another person fit into a reality that we prefer in order to meet our own needs everyone suffers. Instead, bring your focus back to yourself. Notice which of your needs are met or unmet when you spend time with someone. Don’t judge them; just focus on your feelings and needs. Then, decide whether continuing the relationship will meet them