It isn't easy to pause, and listen. Our world is bombarded with social media reels, nano-second news cycles, and many talking heads. Mind you; these modalities are not a bad thing. Many great platforms have been built because of them, our connection
to the world has grown. However, as with any good thing, too much isn't good. We can crowd out our intimate relationships, including those sitting right next to us! We may fail to actively listen and connect on a deeper level to those we love. Learning and applying the skills below can improve true intimacy and relational satisfaction.
According to H. Hendrix in his book, "Getting the Love You Want," "We cannot experience life in its fullness unless we have an intimate relationship with another human being and, beyond that, a feeling of connection with the world around us." We were created to experience both connections. Hendrix outlines a simple yet profoundly effective way to initiate and cultivate a deeper, more intimate connection. These steps need to be practiced so that whenever an issue presents, you both are heard and validated.
To practice, have your partner express an issue he may be experiencing. Then:
After your loved one expresses the content, repeat back to them what you heard them say. They may need to clarify the details to you if you missed a point. This facilitates your ability to truly understand your partner's message. No judgment. It's a moment in time when you actively decide to put yourself aside and focus on them. (Mirror)
Make the connection in your mind of what they have experienced and how they have come to this conclusion. Verbalize your understanding of their feelings behind the message; You might not necessarily agree with their conclusion, but you allow them the space to express and for you to live for a moment in that space with them. For example, "I can see why you would feel nervous when the roads are covered in snow." (Validate)
"Feel" what your partner feels and experience that intimate connection of the heart. Put yourself in their shoes so you "feel" what they feel, thereby experiencing an intimate connection of your hearts. Example: "That would make me leery of ever driving in the snow, too!" (Empathy)
Practicing this skill set offers each other that intimate space to be heard in the relationship fostering greater unity, satisfaction, and joy.
Dr. Anita Arrunategui/Images: Canva Pro/Exerp: H. Hendrix, "Getting the Love You Want."
The content published is for informational purposes. The content included in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.