Sometimes it feels you are so far apart! You want THIS and your partner wants THAT. You feel you are on opposing teams, going to battle for your needs and desires. In reality many times when we go beneath our surface wants, we really want the same thing.
Look at these examples of surface needs and more core needs underneath, are they not the same?
We are not that far apart . . .
“I want to have more sex more often.” Core Need: I need to feel close and connected.
“I want you to talk to me more.” Core Need: I need to feel close and connected.
At first look, they may seem like two different desires: more sex and more talk. But underneath both are wanting closeness and connection.
“You are always critical of me.” Core Need: I need to feel safe and protected.
“You never listen to me.” Core Need: I need to feel safe and protected.
Again, at first look it appears to be two very different upsets – always critical and never listen. But essentially the core message of need is the same – safety and protection.
“Of course there are times were the core desire may not be the same. But regardless we can be on the same team, fighting for us, not against each other. We are normally not that far apart. When we are upset and in a negative state of mind, it all becomes heightened and feels so very intense. What can we do to get more on the same page and begin to see that we are on the same team?
Being on the Same Team
- Take Some Deep Breaths and Calm Yourself. To really hear your loved one, you will have to be calm enough to really hear what they have to say.
- Beginning with the MINDSET, We Are on the Same Team!
- REALLY Listening to Each Other. This is not always easy. Because we are many times thinking of what we want to say. Just stopping and really hearing can so help to fully understand what is going on with your loved one.
- Reflecting or Acknowledging What You Think You Are Hearing. This simple act goes a long ways to resolving and coming together on the issue that is upsetting you both. We all want to feel heard. It calms our anxious brain to know that we are truly being heard and acknowledged. We can think more rationally when we are not on high alert.
- Framing the Issue in Terms of, “What can WE do to make this better?” This is not about who is right or wrong. But about, “How can we make this better?”
- Recognizing that Solution Building May Mean Shifting and Adjusting. Basically, this means after we really hear our loved one and express our own feelings that we may need to shift to a place that works for both of us. This is about what is best for you as a couple, not just you as an individual. Of course, you will have to truly feel good about what you choose to do. This can be the challenging part. But with love and respect for your partner this can happen and make you stronger as a couple and still incorporate your own needs.
- Using Dr. Sue Johnson’s 3 Key’s to Emotional Connection: A.R.E. “Are you there, are you with me?” A = Accessibility R=Responsiveness E=Engagement
Core Needs for All of Us to Have a Secure Bond
Secure, healthy relationships will have these components:
- Feeling Safe and Protected
- Feeling Loved and Nurtured
- Feeling Connected
So consider these core needs. Many times what we say we need or want are really at the core one of these components.