How it works
What does it take to communicate in your relationship in a way that connects, and is in integrity with your deepest values?
Meditation, prayer, and other practices can connect you to your values. Yet, when you step back into your daily life you can get lost in a swirl of criticism, doubt, and confusion. You don't always see how to really put your values into action in the situations you encounter, especially when it gets heated between you and your partner. You need new tools to find and express compassion, love, and honesty. Where do you start?
Connection & Clarity
It all starts inside of you. It’s about discovering what goes on in you from the moment you perceive something to the moment you respond. Though it might be just a split second, you cycle through a river of thoughts, impulses, images, feelings, and needs. Shedding light on this river helps you to connect to your heart and respond to what's true for you in the moment.
With more understanding and awareness, you get free from the trap of making decisions based on habits, assumptions, or what you think you “should” do. Confusion clears and you find yourself connected to your heart. When you’re connected to yourself, it's easier to stay connected to another in the way you would like.
You can think of universal needs as guiding energies that come up in your consciousness to let you know what is in or out of alignment and what action to take next.
Let’s look at the need to be heard. Imagine you tell your partner about a big success you had at work (needs that were met for you) and she or he responds with a distracted “oh, that’s nice.” You feel your heart sink and a sense of disappointment which alerts you to an unmet need.
You take a moment and ask yourself what you needed in sharing that with your partner. When you name the need to be heard, you have a sense of how to get back in connection with your partner.
You might say something like, “I am wondering if you are in a space to hear this because it’s big for me and I am really wanting to share it with you and know you hear me.”
By identifying met and unmet needs in the moment, you and your partner can collaborate in a clear and connected way to create the life you want.
Gone are the days of compromise, giving in, or making demands. By naming and expressing universal needs, you open the door to creative negotiation in which everyone's needs can be met. This might seem unlikely now. You might be saying, "Yeah but, needs are sometimes in conflict and one person just has to be flexible." From this perspective, needs are never in conflict. Conflict happens around the strategies to meet needs. When you imagine your need can only be met at a certain time, with a certain person, and in a certain way, you will likely find yourself in conflict. However, if you can separate your need from the strategy you have for meeting it, you open space for new and creative ways to meet your needs.
The willingness to ask the question: “How can I understand and do this differently?” takes you a long way down the road to connection. With more knowledge about how misunderstandings and arguments happen, a whole new level of clarity opens up. You start to see the little disconnects that lead to stuck arguments down the road. You start to trust that the best way to meet your needs and the needs of others is through creating honest and clear connection.
As you become more aware of yourself, connect to and express universal needs, and shift to a new perspective, a deep sense of safety, healing, and intimacy grows in yourself and in your relationships.
A big part of this new perspective starts with letting go of figuring who is wrong, right, or to blame. You see that assigning fault doesn't repair or enhance your relationships. From the consciousness and skills of Compassionate Communication, you learn to trust and give your attention to repair that comes from caring, and new agreements that come from clarity about what actions will meet needs moving forward.
To get a taste of this work sign up for my Connection Gem of the Week, give me a call or email, or check out upcoming classes.