Try out this short exercise. At the least, it will get you clarity. At the most, it will strengthen your relationship with yourself and possibly those with whom you are connected. This exercise can help release some anxiety sometimes.
When to use it: Are you feeling unsatisfied? Looking to resolve something in your life? Interested in getting something off your chest or back? Do you keep having your boundaries crossed or are you not getting the treatment you want?
We can express ourselves to others and they can listen if they choose to and are able. However, they do not have to follow through with our request. Perhaps they are unable or unwilling or do not know how, then we can compromise if we choose. Our other choice is to decide not put our self in the situation anymore or again, if we do not like the outcome/treatment.
Make sure to write down your answers.
A) What am I feeling? (Be very specific with one emotion, keeping in mind that anger is usually the easiest to access.) Example: I feel/felt sad, hurt, scared, etc.
B) What happened in my life and with whom? Example: My partner, husband/wife/ beau/partner, did not listen to my story. They were too busy to take the time to hear it.
C) What do I want? Example: I want to be heard. Or I want them to be available for me to talk at such and such time.
I want _________________.
D) What is your intention? Examples: I want to tell them how I am feeling, so they know. Or I want to just share what my experience was to keep our relationship growing.
Note: Just because we have an intention does not mean that anything or our intention will result from this conversation. This is just something for us to focus on and to keep things clear. Our intention is guiding the conversation. The outcome is not promised nor is it what we are looking for. Ultimately, the goal of the exercise is the expression of our feelings, need, and want. The intention cannot be separated from the expression; they are intertwined.
E) Dialogue: Pull the three statements together. Example: I felt sad when you were unable to listen to my story the other day. I want us to have a time to talk in the evenings after our long days.
I felt __________________________.
When you are ready, you can ask to speak with whomever you want to have this dialogue with, if you need to.
Remember to keep the attention on yourself and how you are feeling. If a feeling arises, take care of yourself. Self-soothing techniques like massaging your temples or toes, drinking some water, putting some cool water on our face, putting on lotion or aromatherapy oil, can be helpful.
Using “I” statements and expressing your emotions in a kind way (without blame) tends to keep the offensive and defensive discussion to a minimum. It is also vulnerable.
Stay in touch with yourself, noticing any thoughts, feelings, or sensations that come up. Journal about them afterwards, just a few sentences or words.
I foresee us talking about this more in the future. Perhaps there will be future posts about it. Until next time. xo