Emotions elude understanding for a number of reasons, among which are the inescapable facts of daily life. Unfortunately, with so much focus being invested in the small crises and stressors that arise every day, it is difficult to find a moment to truly connect with what you are feeling.
As a result, emotional lives often spiral out of control and internal pressures build up. At a certain point, you may explode, and this affects relationships closest, potentially harming those bonds.
If you cannot identify your own emotions, you cannot understand them or process them nor communicate them. Subsequently, your partner cannot be a source of comfort and support.
If you feel frustrated in your inability to have intimate conversations about your feelings with your partner, you are not alone. Drs. John and Julie Gottman designed an approach to help you achieve focus and explore your feelings, ultimately gaining the skills needed to discuss them with your partners.
Ask open-ended questions
If you ask questions that require only a yes or no answer, you hinder conversations before they can begin. You accidentally close the door that you want to open. This door is unfortunately labeled “Intimacy.” Instead of “Did you watch that movie?” ask, “What was your favorite part?” Instead of “Are you upset?” ask, “You seem upset. What’s going on?”
Stop and breathe
If you are bothered by your inability to label your emotions, stop and meditate for a moment. Clear your mind. Search for a word. When a word comes to mind and your body relaxes, you have hit the spot. Here are a few examples you can use as a starting point.
- Turned On
Learn more skills for building intimacy in What Makes Love Last: Expressing Compassion and Empathy. This post will show you the fundamentals of deepening connection in your conversations and expressing compassion and sympathy.
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