Do you ever feel frustrated when your partner tells you that they are upset, angry or annoyed about something, because you find it hard to relate to how they are feeling? Even if it’s something completely outside of the relationship, such as an issue with a friend or family member? In these situations do you find yourself saying things like “don’t be silly”, or, “not this again” or “I just don’t understand why this is still an issue”?
Or do you find yourself wanting to comfort them when they are feeling this way and say things like “you shouldn’t worry about it”, or “just don’t let it get to you”?
Every time we tell our partner that they are being silly, or that their feelings aren’t valid, we are basically sending the message that we don’t accept that part of them – even if that’s not our intention or if we mean well.
Feelings are what they are, they are truths, whether we agree with them or not, or whether or not we think they are rational or logical. They are there to protect us – as part of our survival instinct.
I don’t think we can ever underestimate the power of acceptance in relationships. Feeling accepted by our partner, knowing that we are OK, that our partner sees us for who we really are, with all our faults and foibles, can be transformative. I’m not talking about tolerance, which would imply our partner accepts us for who we are despite all of our imperfections. Rather, that they accept us because of them. Because they are part of our story, and part of what makes us who we are. It can heal wounds from the past that we didn’t even know we had. It can make us feel grounded to the earth.
And to go one step further, feeling admired by our partner can make us feel like the most confident person in the world, as though we can take on anything, with our partner there to support us every step of the way.
It’s as though the acceptance gives us permission to be who we truly are, and the admiration gives us the courage to soar beyond our self-limiting beliefs. If we are not communicating with love and respect, we can end up sending the opposite message.
So next time you are feeling frustrated or annoyed by your partner’s feelings, try saying something like:-
“I can see this is really upsetting for you, is there anything I can do/do you want to talk about it?” instead.
It might seem like a small thing but it can make all the difference.
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Take care for now and remember – tend to and maintain your relationship and watch it thrive!