Finding your authentic self
Being proactive is important.
Your own self-esteem is directly linked to assertiveness. Practice speaking up over-and-over will embed that feeling of “I’m ok to speak” so that it becomes more -and-more natural. Do it whenever you can. Ask for the paper out loud to the newsagent. Ask out loud everywhere.
Recognise when your partner is feeling depressed or down and act decisively. Ask her what would she like. If she barks then back off and simply say “I’ll come back to you when you are feeling calmer. Is that OK?”
If you are feeling down go immediately for a walk. Go round the block or of to the loo if you are at work. A simple diverting of your attention will be helpful.
Try to understand the fears you have when you are bing confronted. We will discuss these in our next session. Make a note of them.
Also be aware that the relationship will be full of times when you both have doubts. The fool is the person who does not examine carefully his/her doubts.
How to be assertive without being submissive or aggressive is a major part of the dilemma.
Taking into account the special circumstances of your relationship with your partner… it is important for both to have utmost respect for your each other.
The “Short and Sweet“ you already have as a guide to discuss difficult subjects. Use that as frequently as you can. I know it’s basic (maybe you will both even see the funny side of using that template) but it does set an example for you both to adhere to.
Essentially we are aiming for you both to be authentic with the other. So to be free to express your frustrations and difficulties without the other party feeling intimidated or blamed or that they are failing. When other people are in trouble it is often the chance for them to try to project their frustrations etc., onto other people. This has to be resisted at all times.
When the difficulties begin it it is better to stop and listen carefully to the other party, acknowledging their complaints or frustrations without taking on the responsibility of “fixing” it for them,.
If there is a specific complaint about something you have promised and done/not done this can be addressed by acknowledging the mistake and attempting to do the thing now…
Sometimes the complaining partner will still not be satisfied and will continue the complaint. Simply listen and assure them that you will handle the situation. Don’t take on the emotional baggage being projected.
This latter is difficult to do if the family dynamic you have experienced includes being blamed for things that go wrong, not having a voice to reply to parents etc., and where you have had to pretend everything is ok when it is really not.
The authentic self prospers when you nourish your sense of self. When your actions and words are congruent. When you feel you can honestly express your beliefs and not worry if others disagree with you.
Expressing your sensitivity to your partner, being aware of the things that they favour or find difficult to manage is another way to be authentic. When you act kindly to the other person there is a pretty good chance they will reciprocate that kindness. You will make mistakes…we all do make mistakes. By forgiving the other person for their mistakes you are setting the scene for forgiveness for your mistakes.
Finding commonalities in these issue will enable you two to have and authentic loving relationship. Life is filled with many great things and many difficult things.
George Bernard Shaw said:
“Life is not meant to be easy: but have courage my friend; many times life is very beautiful.”
He is admitting that there are many times when things go wrong. This is the nature of being human. If that is embraced then there is a very good chance you will accept your humans and that of your partner and all the other people in the world.
I can’t see any other way to live except that we embrace each other’s humanness.