In relationships, most of us want to be heard and to be fully known. How do we do that when we live in a society that does not often understand how to truly express our core emotions and values?
Recently, I read the book The Dance of Connection by Harriet Lerner. She makes seven key points about what an authentic voice looks like in a relationship:
- We can share competence as well as problems and vulnerability.
- We can warm things up and cool things down.
- We can listen and ask questions that allow us to truly know the other person and to gather any information that may affect us.
- We can define our values, convictions, principles, and priorities, and do the best to act in accordance with them.
- We can define what we feel entitled to in a relationship and we clarify the limits of what we will tolerate or accept in another’s behavior.
- We can leave (meaning that we can financially and emotionally support ourselves), if necessary.
Essentially, this list is about being able to express emotions, expectations, beliefs, and priorities in a controlled way.
Relationships do not have to be riddled with yelling and out of control arguing. We as fully functioning individuals have the ability to act according to our true self so that we achieve happiness and peace without putting our life in control of another.
Written By: Chelsey Beauchamp