Over the next few weeks, Briana Macwilliams an Attachment Therapist and I will be sharing a 4-part video series about adult attachment, love and relationships, based on frequently asked questions we regularly receive.
One question we get is: “How do I express my needs in a relationship?”
Such a simple, yet complicated question, isn’t it?
For some, it stirs up all those fears about being “too needy” and worrying that you are “too intense” for a partner, which leads to the suppression of those needs, as well as an abandonment of yourself, in the relationship.
Then, you bottle all these needs inside and like a pressure cooker it all comes spilling out during a stupid argument.
Unfortunately, your partner feels attacked and shuts down or ask “for space.”
Terrified, you try to shove all those “needs” back into pandora’s box, but… it’s too late. The mess has already been created.
On the other hand, maybe you’re the over-giving and compliant partner who makes a tremendous effort to be agreeable all the time. Despite making your partner happy, you feel miserable and like you’re doing everything.
Yet, all of this could have been avoided, in both scenarios, if you had been able to express their needs in a kind way.
How Do I Express My Needs? Video Highlights
➡️ (2:13) Knowing what your needs are first, and having clear communication and dialogue
➡️ (4:40) Employing weekly state of the union meetings to stay ahead of conflict
➡️ (5:50) Needing a bubble of space before you can engage at the end of the day (and the neurochemical reasons for it!)
➡️ (9:04) Being aware of what we mean vs. what we say, and adopting a compassionate approach to communication
➡️ (10:44) Criticism makes our partners more defensive
➡️(12:50) Fears that “expressing my needs will push my partner away”
➡️(13:35) Examining avoidance as an adaptive strategy
➡️ (17:33) Learning how to tango with your partner, while holding your own axis is essential to a healthy relationship
➡️ (21:41) Being aware of the ego mind, as well as spiritual and mindfulness practices to cultivate secure attachment
➡️ (27:07) Using creative arts therapies to create and explore your love map
➡️ (28:35) Reframing the meaning of “transformation” from self-improvement to self acceptance
If our video brings up questions, as it should, feel free to ask them in the comments located here. Briana and I will be addressing these questions on a livestream early next month.
And If you want to learn more about how I assists couples with fostering intimacy, check out my Intimacy 5 Challenge.
If you are interested in learning more about what attachment style you have, and how knowing your attachment style might offer simpler solutions to your relationship problems, I invite you to take Briana’s quiz.