Category: Emotional Needs

radical acceptance

Radical Acceptance: An Underrated Source of Wellbeing and Growth

Radical acceptance is the ability to fully open yourself to your experience. Radical acceptance allows you to recognize what hurts, no matter what it is — and comfort that hurt.

The radical part of radical acceptance is the openness to face all truths completely – even unwanted ones. Acceptance means allowing life to be just as it is, says bestselling author and meditation teacher Tara Brach.

Say you’re struggling with a job, relationship or personal challenge. You’ve been stuck for a long time without relief. Part of you may think:

“I’m not good enough for a better job.”

         “I’m so messed up. I’m not worth loving.”

         “I can’t resolve this situation; I’m a failure.”

These are the kind of hurts radical acceptance can soothe. Without it, shame and self-rejection can block growth and problem solving. If nothing you’ve tried has worked, radical acceptance may help you find strength to honor your needs.

Radical acceptance is saying yes to noticing the full reality of the situation — Come Read the Rest

How Holding Space Calms upset feelings

How to Ease Someone’s Troubles by Holding Space

“I need space.” You’ve probably heard this or said it. What does that even mean? It’s about holding space for emotions. To understand each other and ourselves, we need to make room for thoughts and feelings.

Holding space is essential to wellbeing and relationships. It’s like giving a gift of gentle attention to yourself or someone else. To make sense of what we think and feel, we need each other’s input. We learn about the world and ourselves through relationships. 

Holding space is about being present and emotionally available. Noticing your emotions makes them more manageable. Tuning into emotions is vital to connecting with others who are important to you.

What Does It Mean to Hold Space?

A definition of holding space is: To notice thoughts and feelings within you and between you and another person, to acknowledge them.

Another good definition is from Connor Beaton’s guide for men about holding space:

Holding space is the process of witnessing and validating someone else’s emotional state while simultaneously being present to your own.

Holding space … Come Read the Rest

bid for connection

What’s a Bid for Connection and Why You Need to Know

If you want any relationship to feel better, you need to know about bids for connection.

A bid for connection is anything a person does to spark a positive feeling with another. It might be obvious – like a hug, a handshake and a smile. Or it might be subtle – a glance, a polite question (“how are you?”) or a text. It might be a major confession: “It feel so good being with you.”

Sometimes bids work – you feel closer. Sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, you’ll likely feel frustrated, hurt or angry.

Bids for connection breathe life into relationships. Dr. John Gottman noticed the crucial role of bids in happy marriages. In his “love lab,” he scored interactions between newlyweds, and followed up six years later.

Couples who turned toward each other frequently (responding to the other’s bid 86% of the time) tended to stay happily married. Those who divorced had responded positively 33% of the time or less.

Turning towards bids for connection is vital to relationship health. They … Come Read the Rest

independent couple

Do You Hide Personal Problems From Your Spouse?

Do you hide personal issues you’re facing from your partner? You might want to protect your loved one from worrying too much. But there’s a risk to your partnership in keeping too much of your inner world to yourself.

Sometimes one partner is afraid to go to the other a problem. There’s great fear of speaking up and having something bad happen.  That in itself can create problems in a relationship.

Here’s an example. John lived with his wife Jane in the US. But John’s mother in England started having trouble taking care of herself.

John’s worries about his mother grew. He became preoccupied with her troubles, which strained an already troubled relationship with Jane.

During one of our couple’s sessions together, John brought up his ongoing concern for his mother. Then Jane burst out: “You’ve never even asked me if I would be willing to move so we could help your mom.”

Jane felt passed over and invisible. She was heartbroken that John could not see her longing to be part of solving the … Come Read the Rest

emotionally available

3 Signs That Someone is Emotionally Available for a Relationship

Having a partner you can talk to about anything feels wonderful. You may find yourself thinking,

“This must be real love.”

How do you know it’s true love? One day you may need comfort. Another day, you may need to rant. You may need help taking care of family members. You may just want help figuring yourself out – to help you think through an experience.

You may look at your relationship and wonder:

Are you there for me?

When someone shows they care more about knowing how you feel, than telling you whether you’re right or wrong, that’s a sign of something special. When a partner is willing to hear you and understand your inner world, that’s a reason to feel stronger and more confident in life. That’s a sign a person is emotionally available.

Love can bloom when two people are emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged in facing life with each other. We are wired to seek this kind of safe relationship. We call it secure attachment.

Here are 3 signs that … Come Read the Rest

emotional connection and attachment theory

How to Find Deeper Love by Understanding Attachment

We want closeness. But all couples fight sometimes. The biggest mistake in a relationship isn’t having arguments. What gets couples in big trouble is avoiding the emotions involved.

Couples can create closer emotional connection with each other, or drive themselves apart. It depends on the way they share emotions. You can make huge positive changes in your relationship by knowing more about emotional attachment.

Couples often seek counseling to stop “fighting all the time about the same stupid things.” The fights usually aren’t just about sex, money, habits, housekeeping, work, or any other topic.

Most couples are really arguing out of desperate isolation and frustration. They feel emotionally starved for connection with each other. They are fighting against something that threatens their need for safe attachment.

The connection between distress and attachment can be hard to see at first. Most couples need a bridge to take them from painful fighting to re-connection so they feel understood, accepted and soothed.

Now, thanks to new knowledge about attachment between adults, we can build that bridge.


Come Read the Rest
Getting emotional needs met in a relationship

How to Meet Your Relationship Needs (and not be needy)

Each of us has a basic human need for love. The need for a secure bond is hardwired in us from birth. But we are not born knowing how to express our emotional needs in words.  We need to learn about meeting needs in a relationship.

Meeting our needs for emotional connection, respect and acceptance are essential to our wellbeing. That’s why losing a sense of connection or intimacy is so deeply troubling. To feel safe, we need to know we can depend on each other to express and respond to our emotional needs.

Seeking ways to meet needs for love and comfort in a relationship is healthy and human. Building a healthy relationship means sharing needs without being “needy.” What’s the difference?

What Are the Main Things you Need in a Relationship?

The desire for belonging and acceptance is a basic human need. Connection is essential to our sense of safety and wellbeing. Recurring arguments with a loved one can feel like a life or death matter when they don’t move the couple … Come Read the Rest

love welcomes relationship needs

How to See and Express Needs In Your Relationship

When love is new, needing each other feels great. Being with someone who’s fun, sexy, kind and upbeat feels terrific. Wanting love and friendship like this is natural and human.

Sharing your fun side is easy. But learning to see and express needs in a relationship triggers many of the biggest challenges for couples.

Needing each other is more than okay. It’s necessary to welcome each other’s needs to be seen, accepted and loved. Much of a couple’s happiness depends on it.

Let’s fast forward into a relationship that started strong and then hits a bump. One partner has had a terrible day, comes home, flops down on the couch and launches a phone app.

The other partner soon enters with a cheery “Hello!”

The gloomy one barely grunts.

The cheerful one is surprised. Disappointed. Not sure how to react.

They don’t make eye contact. And there’s total silence.

Neither person knows what to say. So nobody says anything.

How does this relationship story go from here? It depends on how the couple goes about … Come Read the Rest