INTIMATE COMMUNICATION (IC) STEPS in relationship
1. What was the trigger?
Can you pinpoint exactly what it was they did or said (didn’t do or say) that upset you? If it was multiple things, just pick the one that feels the strongest. Keep it short and simple
e.g. She/he never listens to me; she/he embarrassed me…
2. Can you name the emotion you are feeling or felt?
3. Are you ready to open your mind and discover something about yourself that has been hiding for a very long time? Y/N
Are you ready to drop your story? Y/N
Are you ready to uncover the root of your reaction? Y/N
Are you ready to feel more uncomfortable, till you find a deeper truth? Y/N
– If you can answer YES to all these questions then go on, otherwise stay with questions 1 and 2 – don’t underestimate their power.
4. Can you see where you have done or said the same thing? If you see a behavior in someone else that you really don’t like, you must have done it also to recognize and/or resonate with it. However, it may be to a lesser degree or in a different situation.
– If you really cannot see where you do this too, go to step 5 anyway. You can come back to this later and see if the mind opens any more.
5. Where and when did you learn to judge this behavior so harshly? Go back and find the earliest childhood memory that mirrors this trigger. Then ask your ‘young self’ what she or he needs from you right now e.g. holding, listening, allowing, comforting, etc. Let your ‘young self’ know that you are here to acknowledge their pain and give them what they need to feel safe and fully accepted now. *(see below)
6. What belief might you have formed from that childhood event (wounding)? Keep asking this question to bring more clarity.
7. If and when you are ready, you can share this new insight you have about your reaction with your partner (unveiling) ** (see below)
* It has nothing to do with your partner at this stage. The conflict and emotional reaction gets your attention, but is never the problem. It is the catalyst so you can uncover the root of your reaction – this will take practice and can only be done in the cooling off period. When the emotion has died down, the mind is freer to ask questions of itself.
The conflict and accompanying emotions are here to get your attention to illustrate a deeper wound/conflict that occurred in childhood. From these early childhood conflicts you formed subconscious beliefs about the world and how it operates in the hope to keep you safe from ever feeling these feelings again. Because it was not safe to fully feel our feelings back then you buried them, again unconsciously. But feelings buried alive never die, they just lie dormant for the next similar event to occur to latch onto. These feelings are the language of your soul and desperately need to be felt so they can be released.
When you find the painful memory from your childhood you get to feel it now. If we can learn not to run from that, then the emotion fully felt will subside and eventually dissolve. The memory remains but the emotional charge has gone and this is freedom. You can use your older wiser self to help your ‘younger self’ feel his or her feelings now by asking what they needed back then. And you are now here to give that to them.
You validate the original pain NOW – feel it as fully as possible – bring in all the wisdom and compassion you now have for your small self, who didn’t have the tools or understanding at that time. You were just an innocent child looking out into the world, trying to stay safe and be seen, heard and accepted.
** When you practice “Intimate Communication” you are not requiring your partner/friend/world to change, you are just exposing a similarity of your humanness – (when you did that I felt so mad, and if I feel so mad I must do or have done the same thing – ouch!) and then if you can, you share this with your partner, when and where you do it too – and/or where we were taught to judge it so harshly. When we share in this way, it allows the other to start questioning their own thinking too. IC opens the door to the heart where you and I are one – this is intimacy .
Unveiling would look like this:
• When you did/said … I felt …
• With reflection I realize I do or have done it too … (describe)
• I learned to judge this harshly … (describe early childhood memory)
• Share the belief that has been challenged here
• Then thank you partner for listening
Someone is upset with you – you have done or not done something or said or not said something that has upset them.
1. Are you aware of what it is you did/said (didn’t do/say)?
2. Is there any truth in it?
If YES – wait for more insights, invite more awareness in, where can you agree with them or at least see how they could see it that way. Become aware of your own feelings now. Go to step 3.
If NO – realize they are having a reaction to an action of yours and they are believing their thoughts about it – recognize that their conscious thinking mind desperately wants and needs to be right at this moment. Stay in your own body and observe. This is NOT the time to converse or get pulled into their story. Breath and stay present.
3. How are you feeling right now? Calm and neutral or upset, defensive, emotional, angry, fear, numb etc. What thoughts or judgments are arising in reaction to his or her reaction? Are you getting hooked in?
4. If you are reacting to their reaction in any way – it has become YOUR CONFLICT! Go through the steps for MY CONFLICT.
5. If you are NEUTRAL then just be present.