Feel Like Your Conversations Go Nowhere? Share How You Feel
When people are asked how they feel, they often respond with a thought. We all have a tendency to this. Instead of sharing our emotional experiences, we share a thought or perception about it. Honestly, it’s just a way that we are taught how to communicate. However, in relationships, this can cause an issue. It means that there is a breakdown of listening and understanding.
If you’ve ever felt like your conversations with your partner go nowhere, there could be a problem with you sharing your emotions with each other. It might mean that you’re not getting to the root emotional issues, or that they are just being misinterpreted.
This issue can play out in all conflict and relationship issues. I see it in couples with problems with intimacy, trust, sex, and conflict resolution. Everyone involved is eager to share their story, but no one is feeling understood. This fuels resentment and frustration. And this pattern becomes a vicious cycle that repeats itself time and again.
When we share our emotions, and when we hear our partner’s emotions, connection and closeness are able to evolve. We are taking time to allow the other person to share their story, without judgment. This is a very hard thing to do, especially when the topic is about you.
I will often reframe emotional listening as a gift that you give your partner. If you can hold to it, you’re likely to get a lot of benefit in return. You also have difficult things that you need to share with your partner as well. In time, your partner is more likely to be open to what you have to say after you’ve offered this gift to them. This can create an increased sense of closeness and trust.
Stay with it
Unfortunately, many people give up on this way too quickly. This is because when we fail after stepping into this emotional territory, it really hurts. We share an extremely personal part of our story, and it falls short of being understood. We can feel like a naked, raw part of ourselves is just left out there to rot.
For those who are listening, there is also a risk of frustration as well. You may take the time to offer a listening ear, but your partner may not be so eager to offer the same in return. This imbalance also gets many people to quit on this way too soon. Remember, that this is a process. It’s common to have failed bids at this stage. If you give up, you’re relationship will suffer from this.
Overcoming avoidance is key
This is why it’s understandable that so many couples avoid these conversations like the plague. People have a tendency to try to protect themselves from emotional exposure. This avoidance is based on past failures, where feelings got hurt, you walked away disappointed. Even worse, you might have walked away shamed or accidentally shamed your partner. We all have had difficult experiences where we have tried to share parts of ourselves, and we’ve been burned for it. These don’t just go away when you get into a relationship. In fact, those past experiences are likely influencing your avoidance.
I want to remind you to stay with it. Try again. This means that you will have to walk through feeling uncomfortable. You will fail at times. But, you’re doing this for the successes. With each success, you can build a closeness that can enhance your overall sense of connection. Conflict will be challenges that will eventually pull you closer. Not the brick walls that divide you.