When you are feeling particularly upset or you feel a strong emotional charge toward something, either in your current life, or something that has been triggered from the past, there are usually a number of emotional levels to what you are feeling.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know these exist, and move straight away into defensive behaviours like criticisms, blaming, arrogance, being dismissive, withdrawing, withholding, being stubborn or being precious, all of which cause relationship troubles.
So, it is of the utmost importance to be aware of, and communicate to your partner what is the whole truth of what you are feeling.
To start with, it is often helpful to spend some time on your own writing your feelings down first, and then you can read what you have written to your partner.
As you get better at it, you may just be able to share with your partner, without having to write first.
These are the 6 levels to check in on:
Level 1. Anger and blame (I’m angry, annoyed that…)
Level 2. Hurt and sadness (I feel hurt that….)
Level 3. Fear and insecurity (I’m afraid that……)
Level 4. Responsibility (I realize I have contributed to this by………I’m sorry that I…….)
Level 5. Appreciation. (I appreciate that you have……)
Level 6. Ask for what you would like ( I would love it if…. ) (understanding that this is an ask, not a demand)
Telling the whole story is quite a simple process, but can take some practice.
One person starts by taking the time to write and then reads to his/her partner, or alternately, tells how they are feeling, starting with level 1 and working their way down to level 5.
Their partner listens and gives a summary back at each level.
Then the partner tells how they feel, using any or all of the levels of feelings as well.
This is a very powerful process that can open up a whole new way of understanding ourselves and being intimate with our partner, and provides for the very best of respectful resolutions.
If you need help to initiate this communication process with your partner, we can assist you. We have 70 Psychologists, in Sydney and all other capital and large regional cities, Australia wide who specialise in relationship counselling and are trained to help you get your relationship back into happy territory again.
Both Relationship and Individual Counselling is available, either In-house, by Phone or Skype Sessions – 50 mins
Cost: $155 ($175 for after hours sessions.
Phone 1300 830 552 to enquire or make an appointment.
Private Health Insurance Rebates apply and Medicare Rebates may apply (please check for details)