Learn to understand your emotions

One of the skills successful couples have learnt is to understand their emotions and see they are there for a reason.  They have learnt to respond positively to each other’s emotions – whatever they are.

Emotions are information.

So what do I mean.  Well they are very useful.  Some are there to keep us safe – fear for example.  Fear is very useful when in a dangerous situation.  It can cause us to run or fight or take extra care.

However we can also ‘over-respond’  or become locked in to an emotion and turn it into fact and end up stuck.  You can end up acting in a way that isn’t serving you.

Understand your Emotions

By becoming a slave to an emotion then there is no route out.  By becoming curious about how it is serving you begins to give you choice.

Couples in trouble may have ‘taught’ themselves to be on the look-out for negative, or restrictive, emotions in their partner.  If so they will find them.  Without fail!  Their focus is solely on what they are experiencing internally and a blame culture can develop where each blames the other for how they are feeling.  Their focus becomes laser-sharp and they tip into various negative emotions faster than the blink of an eye.  This then causes behaviours that are likely to make the situation worse.

In these situations it is important to learn to understand why you are responding the way you are.  There is a very good chance that your partner is experiencing similar feelings and is hurting as much as you are from the experience.

You see deep-down neither of you truly wants to hurt the other.  But your emotional requirement to be heard and understood can cause you to trigger various behaviours such as anger, contempt……

If the behaviour you find yourself falling into is not working then one way of helping yourself is to find out why you are doing it.  You can then become more agile in how you respond.

Master your emotions rather than be a slave to them

By understanding your emotions you can also begin to question any limiting beliefs or needs you have created, which are hampering you in your relationship.

These emotionally driven behaviours can well have been very important, even vital, to have got you to where you are now. They may have motivated you to look after yourself, get you through difficult times in the past, or kept you safe, but they may not be serving you so well now.  Now that you are part of a team. (The team of two you have with your partner)

It can be hard to do this on you own.  To free yourself from a limiting belief created by a limiting emotion.

I work with couples by helping them through this phase. Then I teach them how to understand their behaviours and how to become agile in their responses.  This gives them more choices and with that better outcomes.