I was raised to be nice.
I was raised to be polite.
I have incredible parents who are kind and caring and truly the best people I know. They raised me well.
But because I was so polite, and kind, and seeking to be sensitive to my husband’s feelings when I got married, I had a very difficult time expressing myself.
I didn’t want to rock the boat. I never wanted to hurt him.
In my effort to preserve my relationship, I sacrificed my thoughts, my desires and my voice.
I stuffed it all down and suffered… in angry silence.
I have friends who took the opposite position… griping and complaining and yelling all of the time.
And because it was their “normal” voice… what everyone was used to hearing,- they were completely powerless as well.
Learning to communicate honestly in your relationship is a skill that many of my clients lack, but it makes sense.
When you don’t learn to value yourself, to value your own emotional health and your own opinions, you aren’t willing to share them.
But then you feel angry and blame your partner.
Do you relate?
Which one are you? Silent or loud?
One of the things I like to do when I’m feeling angry or upset, is to take a quiet moment alone and ask myself the question,
“What’s the matter, love?”
When we take the time to show ourselves a little love and compassion, we can tap in to our inner being and find the real reasons for our negative emotion.
What’s really wrong?
What is the problem, and whose problem is it?
How am I not taking responsibility for my part in creating this emotion?
How can I more clearly communicate with my spouse, to express what’s going on?
When we are unhappy about a situation, the natural pull is to go on the offense and tell the other person what they’ve “done” to upset you.
This always results in that person feeling a little attacked and often escalates the problem.
So here’s my tip for helping you to grow in this area and obtain your desired outcome.
Keep the focus on you and your responsibility for it.
Instead of saying, “You hurt my feelings.”
Try, “When you said / did _____, my brain told me the story that _____. Is that the message you were meaning to send me? Help me understand.”
This will not only help you to maintain an even (rather than angry or hysterical) tone, but it also helps you to take responsibility for your own negative emotions.
It communicates, in a mature way, your desire to seek understanding from your partner.
If this is a struggle for you, we spend an entire week in my 12 week program, covering this exact topic.
If you’d like more help, schedule a free call with me and we let’s see if you’re a good fit for coaching!