Well, obviously if I’m putting quotes around “doesn’t work,” it means my advice really does work – and powerfully! But I get it: what if you take the initiative during a moment of high tension to be calm and caring, but they still keep coming at you like a wild man or woman? Don’t worry – just be patient, and watch this video…you’ll get it! If you are reading this from the blog front page, click the title of this article, or else just click this link right here…
When tension breaks out between you and your partner, do anger and blame take you over – so totally! – that you can’t stop yourself from saying things that can only make it all worse – even if you are TOTALLY RIGHT? Here’s a little teaching that might help you out…to watch the video if you’re on this blog’s front page, click on this article’s title, or else just click this link.
When squabbles come up between you and your partner, are you a straight-talking truth-teller? Or is that just how you rationalize being mean? There is a better way, you know: you can actually handle these scenes in a way that brings you closer together, instead of creating a rift! If you are on this blog’s front page click the title of this article to watch the video, or else just click this link.
OK, my title sounds pretty dubious – do you like the picture? – but no matter who you are, if you’re stressed out in your relationship, and you watch the video, you will know I speak only Truth about your problem – and the solution! If you are on the front page of the blog, click on this article’s title for the video, or else just click here to watch it.
One of the biggest challenges couples face is: how to talk about “eggshell” topics – those topics that you can’t discuss without fighting, or hurting feelings, or getting defensive – topics that one way or another, whenever you approach them, you both ending up feeling like crap about the relationship…
Topics like: in-laws and relatives and friends you disagree on; past hurts, or future plans; personal hygiene, kids – and of course, money…you avoid these topics, yet they simmer unspoken beneath the surface; live-wire obstacles to real trust and intimacy and fulfillment.
That’s why there shouldn’t be ANY “eggshell” topics in your relationship at all – and I promise you it can be done –
But for now, let’s just address how to actually have a breakthrough, and be able to discuss these “eggshell” topics in a new way.
First, you must understand why the topics are “eggshell” in the first place: it’s not just because you disagree with each other; it’s because you actually don’t feel safe with each other. Deep in your subconscious, you are both afraid that, because you feel differently about a topic, your partner will reject you – a painful experiences we avoid at all costs.
In fact, what you are both really avoiding is the need to change. Depending on who is “more” responsible for the particular situation, this change can take many forms – but at its core, it means a change in how you relate to each other. It means discussing “eggshell” topics in a way that both of you end up actually feeling closer and more loving with each other – better, not worse, about the relationship.
Topics are “eggshell” because they trigger negative emotions – and negative emotions make you both feel unsafe. This means that the art of discussing them successfully is, instead, to trigger positive emotions. This is not only easier than it sounds, it is actually one of the highest blessings of a relationship – the feeling that you are safe with each other no matter what comes up between you.
To do this, you must powerfully create a certain feeling between you – otherwise, the negative emotions will take on a life of their own. This requires that you speak to each other in a very special way. And since you are the one who is taking the lead on it, at first, only you will know how to do this – which you demonstrate by example.
So here are five basic steps to discussing “eggshell topics:
Look into your heart and find the place that appreciates your partner, that is grateful for their being in your life. Find everything you love and honor and respect about them – all of their best qualities, all the ways you have known them to be good and kind and smart and terrific, as human beings, as your best friend and lover, perhaps as a parent. Really connect with this knowing within you.
Approach your partner and tell them that you love them. Tell them specific things you love about them. Tell them how grateful you are that they are in your life.
While holding this attitude of love and care – this reality – in your heart and mind, tell your partner that there is something that you want to talk about. Say that – so far – it feels like the two of you can’t talk about it without feeling uncomfortable, but you want to be able to talk about anything and still feel the love between you. Say that no matter what they say, you respect how they feel, and you love them. But you have to be able to talk about this topic, and there are things you want to say as well. Tell them you are willing to change and compromise and care about everything they have to say, to make sure they feel totally safe and loved by you no matter what, every step of the way – but also, this thing needs to be talked about – and you love them (you say again).
Empathize with their point of view: in other words, put into words how their point of view would make sense from their perspective: “I know you work hard for the money and it doesn’t seem like a reasonable purchase” “I know you don’t want to start a fight with your mother by not going” “I know how you must be so tired that you’re not even thinking about putting down the toilet seat” – then say, “But this is hard for me because…” and state your side of it. THEN say “I don’t care about being right, I just want us to figure out a way we can compromise on this and both feel great about our relationship and each other and the whole situation – and I love you!”
Throughout the conversation, keep telling them that you love them. That you support them. That you are so grateful they are in your life. Touch them gently, with love. Insert compliments into the conversation – things you love, admire, respect, and appreciate about them.
THE POINT IS NOT TO MANIPULATE – IT IS TO BE AS SINCERE AS POSSIBLE!
None of this is manipulative – it is caring about the fact that they don’t feel safe with the topic, so you are creating the space of safety for both of you. This is not “fake” because, well, if you don’t feel this way towards them, then why are you in the relationship?
No matter what they say, keep affirming how much you love and appreciate them.
There are many versions of “eggshell” topics, and this is just a basic overview of a general approach. It’s a radical way, and you have to be open-minded…but remember, conversation with your partner is just like sex: there is nobody looking but the two of you, so don’t try to be “cool”, instead care and connect and support each other, and then only magic will happen.
If it is hard to picture or understand what I have described here – or if you think that it is “just not you” – then I assure you, I can help you find the version of this approach that “is” you.
The big secret is: when you both feel completely safe with each other – all the eggshell topics will disappear – there will truly be nothing that you are uncomfortable talking about, and no problems you can’t solve together.
And when you have a relationship where you can talk about anything at all, you are both set free to become the man or woman you have always wanted to be – and to create the relationship with each other that both of your hearts have always longed for.
Please contact me with any questions or comments – this is all Truth, and I am here to help you with it.
This is always the first thing anyone must learn to break through their old habits of fighting and arguing in their relationship – or in any life conflict, really…