Both men and women have to speak up in order to take charge of their lives and cultivate meaningful relationships!
We don’t speak up for the same general reasons, which include:
But we pay a high price by stuffing it — by going silent, stonewalling, and withdrawing.
So let’s look at some equivalents:
Where’s my joy? I’ve just not honored myself – unhappy.
Where’s my love? Instead of feeling connected and being part of the collective energy flow, I’m a million miles away – isolated.
Where’s my peace? This moment doesn’t feel safe.
During a session this week, a husband was sitting on the couch with his wife. He was trying to share his health concerns with her. At his first pause, she started giving him nutritional recommendations.
I leaned forward and said to him: “And when she’s giving you her opinion and that’s the last thing in the world you want, with the sweetest most loving voice you can muster, say ‘Honey, I just want to be listened to for a few minutes right now.”
The key is to say it sweetly, lightly and repeatedly until she stops and refocuses on what you were saying.
And what did the guy on the couch say after all that? “That would be new for me!” At an early age he’d learned to cope by going into his “serious brooding” mode and distancing himself. She hated it when he did that.
What we all really want in our social relationships especially with family members, is to feel good about ourselves, to feel connected/share/feel part of a team, and know we’re safe in our own little tribe.
(Attitude Reconstruction contends that these three goals are the three Ultimate Attitudes associated with the three emotions of joy, love, and peace.)
When the other person has coaxed you to talk or you finally speak up about something you know you’ve been avoiding, more joy, love, and peace awaits just by lightly repeating the words…
“I just want to be listened to for a few minutes right now.”
Here are three important points:
We all just want to be understood, aka listened to – to be seen for “us” as a worthy being. As scary as it can seem at first, I guarantee that speaking up will bring copious rewards and breakthrough moments. You will be more authentic and your relationship will prosper.
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Your answers will give you a picture of what emotions are running your life and what is holding you back from feeling joy, love and peace.