Have you ever been in a long term relationship and woken up one day and realised that you are not very happy?
At this point we often look to our partner to see what is wrong. We think that they need to do something to make us feel happy. However when we talk about it, they can feel attacked, or criticised and they move away from us – which makes us more unhappy!
So here’s another way to get back into our “happy space” without the aid of our partner.
1. Take out a piece of paper and write list of 50 things you like about yourself. For example: What do you like about your body/appearance, your cooking, your personality attributes, your skills, what you do in life, what you are good at emotionally, what do people like about you?
Take it on board… when you are in a good space (and sometimes even when you are not), you are an AWESOME person!
2. Make a list of what you value about yourself. For example: I value that I am loving. I value security. I value honesty. I value that I give great massage. I value that I have knowledge about….
3. Then make a list about how you want to feel about life and in particular in your relationship with your partner. I want to feel respected/loved/appreciated/trusted/passionate/open/free.
Okay, that’s all the lists done. Does that give you a sense of who you are and how you want to live? Do you feel a lot better already?
You might ask “how can I marry my values and feelings with my relationship”. Here’s the answer:
1. Your values and your feelings are your boundaries. From this place we can say “yes” or “no” to how we want to be treated, what we commit ourselves to, and how we want to live our lives.
2. When someone says something that doesn’t match your values, just tell them how it feels (blaming is not allowed, as it makes the other person feel wrong and pushes them away). Just say: “I feel sad”, or “ I feel flat”. For example I was once telling my partner about something I was passionate about. He said something to the effect that he thought it wouldn’t work. Instead of arguing or defending myself I just said “I feel deflated”. Guess what? He got it.
Another time I was looking for a place to store some furniture. A friend called and I told him I felt worried about it. He offered his garage. I told him “thank you, I feel so relieved”.
Keep remembering what you value and how you want to feel. When you state it clearly “I want to feel relaxed and right now I feel stressed with so many chores to do” it lets the other person know what you are experiencing.
It’s up to them how they respond (or not respond). We cannot control other people. However it helps a lot if they know how we feel AND we don’t blame them. Most people do want to see us happy, and they only know how we are when we tell them. It can take time for someone to register your feelings and needs: and it can take time for them to figure out what to do that would make a difference. Sit back, relax and watch, give the situation some space. Things will change.