Another challenge on the road to a lasting relationship is learning the skill of conscious communication. It’s not an inborn gift, but with practice you can become a master of clear communication. According to psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, it’s a simple process:
1. Identify the event that triggered your emotional upset. Be as objective as possible when doing this. Saying “My boyfriend is never on time,” is less useful than saying “He said he’d be here at 7:00 and didn’t show up until 7:30.”
2. Take responsibility for your feelings. Describe your feelings like this: “I feel frustrated,” or “I feel jealous.” Avoid words that reinforce a sense of victimization, such as “I feel neglected” or “I feel rejected.” When you do this, you’re informing the other person, not blaming him.
3. Identify what you need that you’re not receiving. Most of us subconsciously expect our loved ones to know what we need and to spontaneously provide it. I don’t have to tell you that this rarely happens.
4. Ask for what you want. Be specific when doing this. For example, if you want more attention from your partner, don’t just ask him to spend more time with you.
Ask him to go on a walk with you after dinner, or to a movie on Saturday night. But don’t make demands because we all have an inherent impulse to resist demands. And the cool part is that our self-esteem is raised when we’re able to fulfill a request.
Follow these four steps, and you’re much more likely to feel comfortable and at ease – both in your own skin and in a gay relationship – as opposed to going through your days in emotional distress.
Conscious communication and emotional awareness are vital components of the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program. Learn more here.