If there’s one thing our coaching clients and workshop attendees wish for almost more than anything else, it’s the answer to THIS question…
“How can I get my partner to be more open with me?”
Here’s what we’ve learned…
When it comes to relationships, one of the most common challenges is when one person thinks the other isn’t showing up emotionally as much as he or she could and it is difficult to connect.
Sometimes, even if you try to talk about whatever is going on, the person withdraws even more until you stop trying…
And then more times than not, the relationship (and the people in it) just go numb.
Everybody holds back. You. Us. Your partner and everyone else from time to time.
We all have things inside us that we don’t want to reveal or acknowledge, especially to some people.
We want people to think the best of us and we think that if they “know” what we’re holding back, they won’t like or love us any longer.
Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we’re hiding.
Susie remembers thinking for years while she was married to her now ex-husband that he wasn’t in touch with his emotions–no emotional honesty–and it was her job to help him.
But nothing she tried worked.
She poked and prodded and then just withdrew herself after awhile when he wasn’t what she expected or wanted him to be.
She didn’t realize until after she was with Otto that SHE too had not been emotionally honest in the relationship!
What an insight…
She had allowed her feelings about their relationship to remain hidden because she didn’t want to disrupt their life together.
In the end, honesty finally won out and it led to a divorce after 30 years of being together but in the meantime, Susie learned a big lesson.
If you’re struggling with a partner who’s distant and you don’t feel connected to him or her, there could be way more going on here than you think.
If you want to allow more love, openness, honesty and connection into your relationship and life, here are 3 tips we’ve learned about emotional honesty and hiding…
1. Look at where you are hiding
It’s so tempting to just keep pointing the finger at your partner and that lack of emotional honesty is his or her problem when it could be sign to look within yourself.
Is there something you’re avoiding looking at or believing?
2. Don’t emotionally “vomit” all your thoughts and feelings
If you do uncover some thoughts and feelings that you’ve held back, it is tempting to just let loose with a barrage of venom at your partner.
This won’t help you to move closer or feel more connected–or have more emotional honesty in a healthy way.
We all have thoughts that run through our minds and we can choose the ones we put energy into.
3. Find the wisdom that’s inside you and share from that place if appropriate.
We all have wisdom inside us and it’s this place we want to connect with.
Through the years, Susie has realized that on top of not wanting to admit that her previous marriage was over, she doesn’t like being vulnerable about what she considers physical or emotional weakness.
That realization prevents her from sometimes asking for help when she needs it and allowing people to see that side of her–the vulnerable side.
She now sees that when she shares her vulnerability, she can allow others in and the connection is deeper.
Of course you can be choosy with whom you share your vulnerability but know that if you’re holding back, connection can suffer.
But we’ve seen it time and time again…
When one person opens, the other feels safe enough to do so as well.
And that just may happen in your relationship.