A Simple Technique for a Closer Relationship

Here's one thing you can do to close the distance.

Posted Aug 18, 2018

Rocketclips / AdobeStock
Source: Rocketclips / AdobeStock

Consider the following two conversations.

Conversation A

Toby: How was your day?

Manny: It was okay. I didn't get very much done. How was yours?

Toby:  My boss threw a fit and yelled at Jackie. I thought he'd come after me, too, but he didn't.

Manny: What a jerk.

Toby: I know.

Conversation B

Toby: How was your day?

Manny: Discouraging. I felt spacey most of the day and got nothing done. I'm feeling bummed out about it. How was yours?

Toby: I'm sorry to hear that. Me, I had a scare with my boss today. He yelled at Jackie, and I was afraid he was going to come after me next.

Manny: Your boss is scary, and such a jerk. I'm sorry that happened.

Toby: Thanks.

Conversation A deals with facts: What happened, and to whom, and when.

Conversation B deals with the same facts, but adds feeling words: Discouraging, spacey, bummed out, sorry, scary, afraid.

Talk About Feelings

When we use feeling words, we invite others into our hearts. It's one thing to tell someone what happened, but another to say how it made us feel.

Who we are is illustrated not by the things that happen to us, but by our reactions to them. To know someone is to know what matters to them, what hurts them, and what makes them laugh.

Many people think that only positive reactions are acceptable to share. They keep negative feelings to themselves, even with their partners.

If all we ever expressed were loving, generous, happy feelings, we'd be lonely in all our relationships. Because nobody would know who we truly are.

Increase Intimacy

To be in a relationship is to share oneself. One's true self. That includes ugly little outbursts and feelings that seem petty.

Intimacy requires that we share all our feelings with those closest to us. Not just the pretty, noble, Hallmark ones.

Practice using the following kinds of feeling words with your partner:

Insecure, scared, uncertain, regretful, embarrassed, confused, etc.

And of course, don’t forget tender, ecstatic, grateful, loved, content, peaceful, etc.

When you use feeling words with your partner, you may start to notice that your conversations can finally take you both to a new level of intimacy.