Tips to Being Emotionally Open in a Relationship
There are a number of reasons you might choose to keep your emotions to yourself a in relationship. Past relationships might have left you jaded with being open, maybe you want to seem like the perfect partner or maybe you outright fear being judged by others. While you can choose go keep your feelings bottled up, this could put a strain on your relationship in the form of frequent misunderstandings and uncomfortable silences. Use a few strategies to open yourself up and pave the way to deeper understanding.
1 Write It Down
A fear of sounding too dramatic or rambling on might keep you from sharing your feelings with your partner. Take time to edit what you plan to say, suggests Robert Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, in the Huffington Post article, "Relationship Communication: How to Talk So That Your Partner Will Listen." Write down your emotional concerns on a sheet of paper. Reread what you wrote, scratching out anything that seems to be unessential. This will not only help you shape your message into a form that your partner can understand, it will also help you identify your feelings and uncover hidden concerns. For example, you might discover your moodiness is linked to your uncertainty about life after graduation.
2 Be Imperfect
If you fear revealing your imperfections to your partner, you might put up emotional walls. For example, perhaps you don't want him to know you gave him the cold shoulder yesterday because you were jealous of his interactions with a female friend. Acknowledge that mistakes will be made, says therapist Teresa Maples in the Your Tango article, "5 Steps To Opening Up Emotionally In Your Relationship." Neither of you are perfect, so don't be afraid to come clean with your flaws. Rather than trying to save face, put the relationship needs over your own ego.
3 Explain Your Intentions
In some cases, you will want to vent to your partner, and in other cases you will want her to help you solve an emotional problem, suggests Leahy. Tell her what you want out of the conversation. If you don't know what you want, ask yourself, "Is this a problem she can help me with? Or do I just want her to lend an ear?" This will cut down on misunderstandings and frustrations for both of you when you finally decide to have an emotionally open conversation.
4 Increase Your Well-Being
People with a healthy sense of well-being are more likely to engage in deeper conversations than small talk, reports associate psychology professors Matthias R. Mehl and Simine Vazire in their study published in "Psychological Science." The researchers followed the conversations of self-reported happy and unhappy individuals and measured how often they engaged in small talk or deeper conversation. Happy individuals were more open in their discussions. With this study in mind, take steps to improve your satisfaction with life. For example, participate in hobbies you love, exercise regularly or go out of your way to help others in need. Afterward, you might find yourself being more open with the person you love.