My husband, David, has always been a strong, confident guy who didn’t get easily rattled when things went wrong or difficulties popped up. He was good at tackling huge circumstances and moving on.
But, this was not always the case when certain challenges surfaced between us.
I didn’t realize, that just because a guy responds well to huge vocational obstacles he may not process relational ones with the same ease.
There were many times my reactivity and sensitivity stifled the freedom David needed to be fully open to me with all of his thoughts and feelings. Certain subjects were hot buttons for me and David learned to steer clear of those if he wanted to keep the peace. His peace. And, unbeknownst to me, in David’s case, peace was the holy grail.
If our desire is to experience deep enjoyment and satisfaction in
our most significant relationships we need
one important thing.
Without this key, we stay locked and isolated from those we most want connection with.
But, once we possess this key enormous freedom, intimacy and oneness are open to us.
Probably, THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT GIFT we can give to those closest to us is
No matter how tough we seem on the outside, our souls are fragile. And without a safe, secure, relational environment we keep ourselves defended from whatever or whomever we sense may trample our sense of internal security.
Here are actions we sometimes take to protect ourselves from others when we feel emotional stress:
1) We isolate, walk away, clam up or distance ourselves.
2) We dislike feeling alone or rejected so we pursue others even more intensely.
3) We do a confused combination of both pursuing others and then distancing ourselves when we fear they are getting too close.
So, when we sense relational instability or conflict many of us subconsciously choose
one of these three tactics:
* We move toward others (to pursue them)
* We move against others (to fight them)
* We move away from others (to flee them)
If you find yourself experiencing friction in an important relationship here are some questions to ask each other that may help you discern if some of the struggle you feel is generated from one or both of you feeling “unsafe.”
1) How emotionally safe do you feel in this relationship? (on a scale of 1-10)
2) Are certain subjects off-limits to talk about, either, because
A) you don’t want to stir up trouble with this person or
B) you feel uncomfortable with the anxiety that topic creates for you?
3) Do you feel safe to discuss any subject in this relationship?
4) Do you feel safe to share your deepest feelings & needs with this person?
5) Do you feel safe enough to share even your most negative emotions?
6) Can you be truly honest with this person?
7) Are you able to honestly and effectively communicate areas of disagreement and conflict without fear of rebuke, rejection or reprisal?
Emotional safety is #1 THE key to relational intimacy and happiness.
But, if the most significant person in your life is not always the one you feel SAFEST to share all your thoughts and feelings with —this should be a serious concern.
There are good reasons why you may not feel safe or why your relationship feels stuck in certain areas of dissatisfaction. And, there are good reasons the other person responds the way they do when they sense tension between you.
Healthy relationships offer enough secure emotional space
for us to be open and vulnerable with our hurts, confusion, hopes and stresses
without fear of rebuke, rejection or reprisal.
And we ALL need a little help to truly see
our own unhealthy patterns of living and relating.
We know what it’s like to not always feel totally safe in your most important relationship. AND, we know it is totally possible to turn that around to experience incredible joy, freedom and intimacy.
If you’d like more information on how we can help you create a safer relational environment
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT US @youlivetrue.com for a FREE CONSULTATION.
SCHEDULE US TO SPEAK youlivetrue.com/schedule-us-to-speak
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