Pretend your partner does something that bothers you. Let’s say he’s 15 minutes late to pick you up for your sushi dinner date.
You feel a pang of irritation in the center of your chest as he pulls up to your front door. You’re annoyed and a little pissed off. It aggravates you when people make you wait. You really want to express your frustration. You want to tell him you don’t feel like he’s respecting your time. You’d like to ask him to please be on time from now on.
But when you get in the car? He acts like nothing’s wrong.
So you decide not to say anything. You sweep your feelings under the rug and move on with your night. You force yourself to have fun even though part of you is still upset about his tardiness.
Your man might even notice that you’re acting “quiet” or “different.” And you promise him it’s “nothing.” So he assumes you’re telling the truth and enjoys the night for what it’s worth while you continue to stew in resentment.
But, hey. No conflict. No problem. Right?
You need to be honest and vulnerable about how you feel so you can move past conflict and into the present moment (that sounds like a tweetable ;) )
I know, I know. It sucks talking about your feelings. It makes you feel weak and exposed. You don’t want to come off as needy and whiny. You want to be cool with “whatever” and just “go with the flow.” I get it.
But if you neglect to share what’s on your mind? You stuff your feelings into the crevices of your being where they build up until one day you…explode. And we all know what exploding feels like. You make a ginormous deal out of nothing because you just can’t take it anymore. You blow up because you never gave yourself a chance to release steam as it was building along the way to your final combustion.
Here’s the deal: If you spend enough time with someone? You’re gonna run into adversity. It’s pretty much impossible to agree with someone on everything, all the time.
So dealing with conflict is a huge part of managing your relationships. You have to learn how to communicate about the things that bother you. If you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable the moment an issue arises, you’ll save yourself a lot of pain later on.
This goes for every kind of relationship: romantic, friendly, professional and familial. I don’t care who you’re dealing with. You need to find a healthy way to talk about the things that trigger negative feelings within you.
I learned this important lesson from this book. I highly recommend reading it. It made me realize I’d ruined a lot of relationships by letting things go rather than expressing myself. It clarified the importance of being vulnerable with your lovers, friends and acquaintances so you can more quickly move past your problems.
I know this is tricky stuff. So I’m gonna share a few personal tips I’ve learned along the way to make opening to vulnerability just a little bit easier:
Here’s to healthy and happy relationships!