Have you ever heard that emotion is the glue to intimacy? It’s true. When someone knows how we feel, and/or we know how someone else feels, we are connected. Regardless of it being a positive or negative emotion, sharing how you feel has all kinds of benefits in a relationship. And guys, you can even do it in a manly way.
- Identify how you feel by using the wheel. (pictured below)
- Find one or a few words that best describe your emotion(s).
- State, “I feel [emotion] about [situation] and I need…”
Note: try not to use the word “you” as to avoid any blaming or criticizing
- If you’re on the listening end, pay attention to feelings words and remember them.
- You may feel some of your own emotions in response to the speaker. In honor of taking turns, trust that yours will come. Refocus on what the other person is saying first.
- When the speaker is done sharing, confirm that they are finished. Restate what you heard them say in your own words. If you include the feelings words they used, you get bonus points as this reflects understanding, helps the speaker feel heard and cared for, and provides a sense of relief.
It can be challenging to develop these communication skills. At GROW Counseling, we have several therapists who specialize in working with relationships — whether you’re a couple, part of a family, or even in a work environment!
Written by: Michael Kanner