“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
– Paulo Coelho
The other day I was sitting in my office was screaming began in the office next door. A man and a woman screaming at the top of her lungs both saying the same thing, “You are not listening to me!” They were yelling so loudly the wall separating them for me began to quiver. I am pretty sure that this is exactly what the walls of their hearts have been feeling like for years.
Making requests of our romantic partners is the most difficult thing to do because of the attachment to how having that need will make you feel.
Having needs is not a bad thing. You have needs because at some point in your life, they served you. At an earlier time of your life, the experience taught you that surviving or succeeding in life depending on maintaining control over the need because it felt good to have it.
The more you became attached to these needs, the more he started to be on the lookout for circumstances that threaten you’re having them. This is how needs become emotional triggers.
And everything a partner does is under a microscope because you’re convinced that your misery is due to your partners inability to do what you’re needing in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
Back to the screaming couple for a moment……
There was a moment of silence followed by his yelling how sad and lonely he has felt not being able to share with her his real feelings. She screams back by blaming him for her own loneliness because of his interest in her. He began to weep. What are still screaming he shouted even louder, “I am afraid of being close to you or anyone.” Then something shifted, the yelling stopped.
Be aware of your emotional triggers.
The strings that have helped you to succeed are many times also your greatest emotional triggers. When you feel someone is not honoring what makes you special, especially in romantic partnerships, your brain perceives that the other is taking important things away from you then your emotions are triggered.
You react with anger or fear, then you quickly rationalize your behavior, responses, so they make sense. What follows next is that you lose trust in your partner which only adds to your upset and frustration. You may even lose courage or react in a way that could hurt your relationships in the future.
The turn-key happens when you begin to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered.
When you can do this, you begin to create new neural pathways and bodily responses. You then can discover if the threat you are perceiving is real or not. And, when you can do this, you open up the opportunity to make a heart-felt response and request to what you actually want—comfort, understanding, attention, fun, affection, acceptance, safety, autonomy, balance, to be valued, freedom, included, loved. The focus then becomes your actual need, not the control over your partner’s behavior or what they can do differently.
Being present for yourself… Shifting the emotional trigger.
Relax – It is not up to your partner to relax you, it’s up to you. Breath and release the tension in your body. Count to 10, count to 100, take a walk, do push-ups.
Stop the monkey brain – clear your mind of all thoughts because you won’t know what to ask for unless you can think clearly. Do a brain dump—write until it’s all out of your mind.
Center – Drop your awareness to the center of your body—the solar plexus—the spot between belly and your ribs. It is said that this is the place of power and where we keep old feelings. Put your hand over it. Feel yourself breathe. This helps to further clear the mind and connect you back to you.
Focus – what is it that you are wanting? Rather than focus on what your partner should be doing, what is that you want to feel—comfort, understanding, attention, fun, affection, acceptance, safety, autonomy, balance, to be valued, freedom, included, loved?
Once you have cleared your mind and refocused on your need versus your trigger, you can make a request of the heart.
Stay tuned for more… How to Make a Request from the Heart coming soon.