Karen Smillie, MFT
Many of us develop ways of minimizing our feelings. Many of us are downright pros at tuning them out. Sometimes they seem irrational, childish or in the way. People often worry that expressing their feelings and needs will hurt their partner, make them angry or make no difference at all
But they’re there – even when we want to ignore them.
Talking honestly with your partner will become much easier if you begin to acknowledge your feelings and needs to yourself. This might be something that sounds pretty easy for you or it may sound totally impossible. Either way, I encourage you to think through the following questions:
- How do you feel about your relationship right now? If your first response is fine, okay, or good/bad, try digging for a feeling word that has more color to it.
- What needs do you have that are satisfied in this relationship? What needs do you believe are not being met? How do you feel about that?
- Growing up, how did people in your family and community communicate their needs? What was that like for you?
Try not to judge your answers to these questions. Just notice your thoughts and feelings.