by Pan Vera
The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped our personal relationships in unprecedented ways, forcing us to live closer together and some people to be farther apart. Life in lockdown has necessitated close, constant contact with our families and partners. Some people are really struggling in their marriages and relationships right now. Since March 15, 2020, many couples are prioritizing deepening their emotional connection (68%, up from 55% pre-COVID), however, 35% are less likely to discuss conflicting issues in healthy ways.
A study in July 2020 showed that only 18% of couples reported being satisfied with how they communicate with each other. We speak a language of judgement, blame, shame, guilt, denial of responsibility, and demand and we’ve been speaking it for over 8,000 years. This language is deadly to our relationships and, more importantly, to us. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Imagine that you could experience the wisdom of your emotions without getting stuck in them. Imagine you hear every NO as a YES to something else that’s even better. Imagine you could understand what you really want, and what your partner really wants. Imagine you could hear every complaint as a cry for help.
You can live a life where you are prioritizing connection over being right. You can create harmony by caring for everyone’s needs without giving up your own. You can express from your heart instead of making a right/wrong case in your mind.
All of this is possible by developing empathy for yourself and your partner. By nature, we enjoy giving to others more than anything. When needs are asked to be met without a demand, we are most likely to get our needs met.
The most powerful way to be emotionally safe is to listen with empathy, which is easy when we realize that deep down, we all want the same things.