Do you feel lost in your emotional interactions within your family?
Do wish for more calm in your relationships?
Do wish parenting to a fulfilling relationship experience?
Relationships are between individuals running on emotions.
Parenting runs high on emotions, more than any other relationship.
We do get to choose to be part of relationships except for parenting and sibling relationships.
Family comes in predestined in our lives.
Irrespective, of our choices, relationships do require some basic understanding of needs and feelings, of self and others.
The process of any interaction starts with the thoughts, which lead to feelings, leading to behavior and actions.
Thoughts can be preconditioned, can be from our past beliefs or the story we have bought in, regarding a situation or relationship or person.
Due to these stories in our minds, we feel emotions and respond, react or interact accordingly.
But what if we are able to take a pause and be aware of the thought, the belief, the story which is running in our mind.
That leads to 4 questions or steps one can take to improve emotional space in any relationship
1- Pause, be aware of your thoughts.
Is there a -should or have to? Is there a story or belief from your past?
It’s easier said than done and would require practice and building of mind muscles, to help you pause.
Meditation practices can be a good option for one to build mind muscles.
A pause can help you be aware of the thoughts and can be a start to looking at the situation more objectively.
2- Being aware of the stimulus behind the story is the next step.
What is the trigger and why is it there?
Is the stimulus from your past experiences or your primitive brain’s response to the situation.
An interesting observation could be that the same trigger, works differently for different people.
Most of our triggers are embedded in our expectations and past beliefs.
Being aware of them helps us in going deeper in deconstructing them and understanding if those thoughts are life-enriching and if we want to ahead with them.
3-What’s in your control
With the deconstruction of stimulus as objectively as possible, try to figure out if the situation is in your control.If we have to make a list of what’s in our control and what’s not, then most certainly, other people’s behaviors, thoughts, and actions in a relationship are beyond our control.
The only thing which is our control is our thoughts and beliefs.
So if we wish to change, we need to work with this acceptance and work around our own thoughts and beliefs.
4-Needs and Feelings
As we gain more clarity on our thoughts and acceptance of the situation as it is, we can dwell deeper into our needs and feelings.
all our behaviors and actions are to meet our needs. Most of the relationships are to meet our basic need to be loved, accepted, acknowledged, appreciated.
What are the strategies to meet those needs? In most relationships, we expect another person to meet our needs and that turns out to be the point of conflict.
As long as our needs are met, our relationships go smoothly but it hits bumpy roads as soon as our expectations are not met.
It not that we can’t expect, but we need to give equal importance to acceptance.
The more we gain clarity on our needs and feelings, the easier it becomes for us to accept the situation as it is and make a request or try a different strategy to meet that need.
In any relationship, the first and foremost is the relationship with self and that spills over on other relationships.
The more we are attuned to our thoughts, beliefs, needs, and feelings, the more equipped with are to have a harmonious relationship with self and others.
An analogy to try , that worked for me 🙂
An analogy, which I use in most of my interactions that is heavy on emotions, is RAINING.
When it’s raining, we can’t do much about it.
Can’t curse, blame, shame or scream at it !!!
All we can do is find a way to navigate that rain, be it by staying at home or using an umbrella as that’s all that’s in my control.
Similarly, during an emotional outpour, I choose to stay quiet or make a request or take a break, all the while trying to have a deeper understanding of my needs and feelings of mine as well as others, using pause and reflection on thoughts as tools.
How do you navigate your emotions?
What’s your calm amid the emotional storm?
Give these questions a go , when you find yourself amid a relationship storm.