Sometimes you may vent with a friend to get something off your chest however, if you would like to really change the way your relationships proceed and help YOU become a better version of yourself, this report shares a simple how-to formula to get over the fundamental fears all humans have when sharing their feelings in relationships.
This post isn’t a consent to blab and just say what is on your mind. A lot of people are doing this on social networking and off-line to your face, these days – and we are not seeing a lot of benefit from this.
When we think about how much arbitrary emotion is being expressed in the world, you might start to wonder if emotion has been hidden by our cultural socialisation for this a long time – and now we are just starting to take the lid from it so that it now gets expressed in random circumstances and in ways that doesn’t have any regulation or a stop button.
It is also not only negative emotions which we struggle to express.
How many of you may find it tough to say how you feel about someone you love?
Or find it squeamish to give a compliment to someone just because you feel inspired by them.
But in the socialisation of young children we have made the expression of emotions conditional; OK occasionally, OK not other times. And with respect to positive emotions we also have become really tainted and dull about celebrating them.
What once was natural for us as children to express glee, joy and laughter becomes awkward and uncalled for when we are an adult or a teenager.
So it got me wondering why, when and how do we transition from easily expressing joy or despair to struggling with that.
For each of us there is the point or an age or event or a set of gathered events where a developing child stops enjoying who they are and become more worried about how they’re perceived and received by others. The tipping point, where you concentrate more on who you feel you should be to be acceptable – is unique for each person.
Why we want a person to take us is very much about survival. The more someone likes you, the more likely you will be accepted as a member of the tribe that looks after you.
But if you can not be honest with your feelings, subconsciously you feel the price tag. And the price tag is: you can’t be your authentic self. But you’re prepared to lose your authenticity or explain your needs or your point of view in order to”maintain” the perceived status quo, not rock the boat and go together with the tribe – and your perception of what the tribe believes.
If you grew up in a traditional family structure, you know what that means: you have to turn up for family dinners, you do not speak about particular topics with particular family members, you can’t talk about that hot topic because it is taboo. In personal relationships, some of the have to include: ” I must reply to texts instantly, I must like what my loved one does or who they hang with etc..
What I’ve learnt working with people is that Someone will invest more energy in concealing their authentic self and feelings than risking speaking up for many diverse fears such as:
Being perceived as impinging on someone else’s wants
Fear of upsetting someone with a touchy issue (politics, trauma, bad experience previously )
Being viewed as weak, not self-evident and not competent
not being like “everyone else” (the tribe)
Fear of pushing back because you may create conflict
Fear of being viewed as contrary to the group
Fear of being too independent or seen as selfish, putting your needs before others
Fear of asking too much.
People create great stories about why others may not have the ability to handle their feelings. And this is always influenced by the culture’s interpretations of what is appropriate.
On the personal level, we place a lot of energy into sustaining the cultural narrative about what is appropriate in our own heads, as opposed to actually talking with people to share what is going on for us.
Part of the struggle in contemporary society, is that cultural norms are changing and while we need to measure our expression of feelings by the previous cultural norms – they’ve shifted to a level where we’re no longer sure of the way to be”respectful” of others while also being authentic and expressing our individual needs. In the past, people’s roles were pretty clear, but now there’s much more freedom about how you can behave. This makes people a little crazy because they really don’t know what to do with the new found freedom. And then occasionally revert back to previous cultural norms where you”should” do what the tribe said.
So if you’re looking to be respectful and authentic in expressing your feelings here is a basic formula.
This is best performed face-to-face. If you’re not good at face to face – you can attempt this through text, however your body will feel more relaxed if you are face to face.
Start your conversation with the goal to connect with the person and have the best results for the two of you.
Begin your saying by foregrounding something you love about the individual like”hey I really think about you when I hear that tune x” recall a memory you have together, remember something which connects the two of you in a good way or something interesting that they will connect with.
Ask yourself, what am I afraid of happening when I tell them how I feel or what I want? Think about telling the person”look I’m concerned about x, but I would like to share something with you”. Don’t hide your fear, but do not make it a sob story. Tell them simply what you’re concern is and then proceed straight to sharing. Don’t use the word fear, use a word like”I’m concerned” or make it even more obscure like”I was thinking x”.
Tell them what you need at the easiest shortest way possible (with no narrative ) and then be quiet. Wait for them to respond, have a look at their face, breathing, body language. The longer you wait – they will speak. And you will be much better off staying quite – because that gives them the signal that you want them to speak.
Each connection will have its own quirks.
So not everyone will be civil, sit down and listen. And you might need to tweak the words to match that individual’s language style.
But what I’ve learnt from measure 1 – just focussing on the purpose of the ideal outcome for the connection has made people who normally wouldn’t chat – soften and also be natural and responsive.
From Step 2, foregrounding whatever you like about the relationship has also had huge results. It has made people soften, opened up conversations to flow in way that was completely unexpected, got another person to start telling stories that they never shared and resulted in family outings that never would have happened… and so on.
So for the touch instances, concentrate on Steps 1 and 2… and wait til the moment arises for you to air the remainder. At times, you might not have to, sometimes steps 1 and 2 have allowed something to shift from the’attitude’ between the two individuals where matters fall into a better rhythm so your perceived anxiety – is actually not real – and you see that you just needed to connect with the person.
We often forget that focusing on what’s good about a connection actually makes the relationship occur at all.
What you were so easily able to leap and observe when you were a kid – is also what makes a relationship easy to jump up and down about as an adult.
People respond the best when we connect them to what makes us feel good about them.