“I HATE When She Talks About Her Feelings!”

“I HATE when she talks about her feelings!”

This is what my client John (not his real name) yelled out during his marriage coaching session with me last week.

I was encouraging his wife Jane (not her real name) to try expressing her hurt emotions using “I feel” statements versus the more triggering “YOU” statements in effort to breakthrough a conflict they had been carrying on for about a week.

So I asked Jane to express her feelings and emotions around this conflict using  “I feel” statements rather than the “you” statements she had been using. Jane eagerly and quickly declared “I feel like you (to John) don’t care about us as much as your work!”“I feel like you put work in front of us.”… “I feel like you don’t give a shit about how I feel!”…

AHA!  There it was. As clear as day.

Of course John “HATES when Jane talks about her “feelings”!…    He feels blamed and criticized for her hurt and pain each and every time she expresses how she feels.

Here, Jane is really using “you” statements that are disguised as “I” statements. Because she’s still making statements that are critical and/or blaming of John.

I then asked Jane to dive deeper in to what SHE was feeling and experiencing internally, rather than what she believed HE was feeling or experiencing.

Jane quieted… and took what felt like 30 seconds. I could see her thoughtfully processing her answer. Finally she said,

“When you talk to me in that tone in front of our daughters… I feel like… a failure.” 

Oh my gosh. You should have seen John’s face.

His eyes and face immediately softened, and he literally dove off of the couch and on to the floor, where Jane was lying to ease her back pain). He put his hand on her face, looked in her eyes, kissed her, and reassured her awesomeness and failure-lessness in the sweetest, most insistent way.  I almost felt guilty for watching.

Several times he said, “I had NO IDEA you felt like a failure when I did this!”.

These are the moments I live for in my coaching sessions.

The “AHA!” moments…. the breakthroughs…. the moments where I know a couple will never be the same. Because they’ve taken new action in their relationship, which has allowed them to FEEL a new way of being and doing in their relationship. And that is truly transforming. For the long term.

That feeling John got from hearing Jane’s “I feel” expression, made him jump off the couch and onto the woman he loves… because in that moment he got to see her truth. He was able to feel her vulnerability and her openness to him. He felt a surge of empathy and compassion for her because he wasn’t preoccupied with defending himself. He was able to hear what she was truly feeling and experiencing mentally and emotionally, outside of any blame or criticism toward him. That allowed him to take action from the compassion he could then feel for her, and help her feel better fast.

And there’s the huge difference. “I feel” statements, when used properly, are powerful expressions that lead to deeper understanding, more compassion, and more empathy for each other. That feels way better. Yes, it takes practice. Yes, it will always be tempting to use “you” statements in the heat of our inevitable battles. But the better we can get at expressing our own internal feelings (sadness, anger, fear, guilt, etc), the more we expand our opportunity to grow individually and as a couple and experience deeper connection and understanding.

I have extensively studied and taught this communication strategy in my private sessions with my clients as well as in my workshops and trainings. I highly respect and study Marshall B. Rosenberg’s work. I recommend his book “Nonviolent Communication” as a resource that will transform the way you communicate with your self and others.

To Your Extraordinary Relationships, 

Jennifer Blankl

Certified Relationship Coach
Certified Marriage Educator
Certified Divorce Preventionist

“I HELP busy professionals & parents reignite the connection, excitement, intimacy & fun in their love relationship so they can feel more emotionally fulfilled, understood, appreciated, & respected.”  

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OTHER READINGS:
The Most Effective Way to Track the True Level of Joy and Fulfillment in ANY Relationship

Why Many Leave the Partner They Truly Love

The Energy that’s creating either CONNECTION or CONFLICT in your Love Relationship

THE ENERGY that’s either creating CONNECTION or CONFLICT in your Love Relationship

Are you a strong, go-getter, DO-DO-DO kind of gal?   Are you the kind of woman that loves to get things done, have success and WIN at life and relationships?

If so, this is your beautiful and valuable masculine energy that is at play in you. All women and men possess both masculine and feminine energy to varying degrees. However, when a man or a woman is not aligned with their own core masculine or feminine energy, that results in many painful consequences. It can affect their love relationship or marriage, their family dynamics, their work and business relationships, and their friendships.

Masculine energy is all about being rooted, immovable, knowing what you want, knowing who you are, being focused on the outcome and getting things DONE. Overcoming obstacles is satisfying. Masculine energy is very purpose-driven. There needs to be an end or else you feel adrift. This is why your man may want to “fix” your problems and frustrations when you, as the woman, are just trying to express and feel heard and understood.

The mature masculine man’s purpose is to serve, protect and provide service to others. He’s selfless with values of honor, integrity and freedom. On the flipside, the Immature Masculine Man is about serving his own ego and his own needs first. If you’re lucky enough to have a mature masculine man, then it’s even more crucial for a woman who possesses a lot of strong masculine energy to be able to transition in to her own feminine energy for him. Masculine energy plus masculine energy leads to a fight. So let your man be in his masculine by knowing when to be in your feminine for you and him.

In contrast, Feminine energy is all about OPENNESS, vulnerability, being able to let go and fully release… so that you can fully receive. The mature masculine man needs to feel this openness and ability to receive from his partner to feel he is serving her and providing for her the way a masculine man must in order to be truly purposeful and useful – the way he needs to feel. Feminine energy has nothing to do with how you look… it’s all about your ENERGY… the feeling and the vibe you send out to the world and those you love. Feminine energy is about taking it all in… and not running. It’s about trusting. The opposite of feminine energy is tight, closed off, protected, guarded, withdrawn, controlling and pushing, punishing, and holding back.

I know we all can think of many examples in a current or past love relationship where our partner triggered us, only to find ourselves withdrawing our love, holding on to our anger and choosing to stay mad… all in effort to make the other person pay. We do this to meet our human need for significance, and perhaps even certainty, but only at a short-term, lower level. The raw truth is, however, protecting yourself by abandoning your feminine energy has many negative consequences for you, your partner, and your relationship.

I know this territory all too well personally. I’m a passionate driver, doer, mover and shaker. It serves me well in my work, in my ability to build a successful career as well as at home: getting things done around the house, hustling my boys from here to there, running a household alongside my Relationship Coaching Business. However, this energy has previously hijacked my own dynamic with my husband without me even knowing it. At the time when our marriage was suffering, I had no idea how the masculine and feminine energies truly worked. I didn’t know that me being in my masculine forced my husband OUT of his… which wreaked so much havoc on both of us.

In order to avoid verbal or even physical violence, a man has to move more into his feminine energy… and at its core… this is all in effort to protect their partner.

Doesn’t this make sense? If we strong women don’t learn how to effectively and authentically transition from our awesome masculine energy power into our more open, trusting, vulnerable feminine… then we force our men out of that masculine energy that we crave and need from them.

So with all this said, you may be wondering “Well how the heck do I do that, Jen?!” Here are some wonderful proven strategies that I’ve used in my own transformation as well as with my clients.

STRATEGIES:

  1. THE “FEMININE ASK”:

This is a way we can communicate with our men that gives them an invitation with 2 possible answers: YES or NO. Your man needs to feel like he has a CHOICE. The mature masculine man does not want to be told what to do. He needs to feel that it’s an invitation; a calling to come to your rescue. At it’s core, this choice allows the masculine man to feel purposeful and useful because it’s HIS choice, he’s leading, and he’s coming to your rescue.

 

  1. STOP OFFERING UNSOLICITED HELP TO THE MEN AND BOYS IN YOUR LIFE!:

Starting in childhood, males need to know they can do stuff on their own. They need to know they’re capable of getting it done and overcoming obstacles… on their own. Remember, this is all part of the purposefulness, usefulness they need to feel.

There’s a bit of a double bind here, since women, generally speaking, get joy and fulfillment from nurturing others. Women mostly have good intention here, because we feel like we’re “helping”, “nurturing” and “loving” our men and boys by showing interest and offering our help.

But in the man’s world, an unsolicited offering of help, especially from a woman, sends the message “She thinks I can’t do this on my own”, “She thinks I’m screwing this up”, or “She thinks her way is better.” So even though we have all this good intention in offering the help, it robs our men of the sense that they’re fully capable and in control of getting it done successfully, their way.

  1. MAKE A CONSCIOUS MINDSET AND EMOTIONAL TRANSITION

from work mode to partner mode. Be aware that you need to transition and create your own rituals to ensure you do so. Here are some examples:

  • Sit in your car for a few minutes before entering the house, listen to some of your favorite, uplifting tunes and choose to switch gears.
  • Take a few minutes of alone time from your partner and or family to transition. Let them know what you’re doing and why you need this time! Tell them exactly how much time you’ll need so they can feel certainty around when they get you!
  • Change your clothes! – Put on something that is YOU, yet feminine. Get rid of the frumpy, unflattering sweats you’re attached to! Again, this isn’t about how you LOOK, but how you will FEEL by changing your clothes.
  • Take a bath – relax and soothe yourself all while being vulnerably nude.
  1. 10-SECOND RULE:

Women generally have a need to fill pauses or silences in conversation because it helps us feel like we’re connecting by filling the silence. However, a masculine man can feel cut off by his woman if he pauses and she fills the space. The tricky thing is, women, in general, don’t experience being interrupted the same as men. Ladies, I’m sure you can recall how a lunch or a happy hour with your girlfriends is often filled with overlapping talk. This is usually not about taking the floor or interrupting, but truly about connecting and nurturing the conversation by providing MORE. Men tend to take more time to process their thoughts and prepare for what they will say next so this can feel like an interruption coming from either a woman or a man.

This tool can help remind us to stay present for our partner, let him finish his thoughts and expressions by waiting a full 10 seconds when there is a pause before jumping in again. This will NOT feel natural at first. Pausing this way can feel like an eternity. But trust me, with practice, you will feel your conversations transform and your man will express more.

 

What are your own resistances to exploring your own masculine or feminine energy more?

What are your fears or belief systems that hold you back from nurturing your core energy at a deeper level?

TAKE THE TEST HERE to discover your dominant energy.

 

To Your Loving Relationships,

Jennifer Blankl

Certified Relationship Coach & Divorce Preventionist  /  Certified Strategic Interventionist 
 
“I HELP busy professionals & parents reignite the connection, excitement, intimacy & fun in their love relationship so that they can feel more emotionally fulfilled, understood, appreciated, & respected.”  

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THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to TRACK THE TRUE LEVEL OF JOY & FULFILLMENT IN ANY RELATIONSHIP!!

What would life be like if you truly felt SEEN and UNDERSTOOD by your partner?

What if you could resolve those recurring conflicts in your personal or love relationship once and for all so you get on with enjoying yourself more and those you care about and love?

What if you could understand what truly motivates you to … or prevents you from… taking certain actions in your life that could meet your needs at a higher level?

Let me give you the GOLDMINE OF TRUTH HERE when it comes to what your deepest, truest driving forces are in your life and in all of your relationships…

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO:    THE 6 UNIVERSAL HUMAN NEEDS

Understanding the 6 human needs and which needs we, and those we love, value most, is life’s most important strategy.

When we get clear on what our own needs are and get better at meeting our needs at a higher level, or in a positive way that is good for our overall well-being… then we experience deeper fulfillment and joy inside of ourselves.

IN RELATIONSHIP TO OTHERS:

The 6 Human Needs are the most effective way to track the level of happiness and fulfillment in any human relationship. When you understand which of the needs are most important to a person, and how that person satisfies their most important needs, you understand what brings them pleasure or pain. You also understand what’s truly driving that person and motivating them to take the actions they take, and even feel the feelings they feel.

Usually, for each person, two of these needs prevail over all the others. A person’s top 2 needs are experienced so intensely that the person will do almost anything to satisfy those needs. When you identify the two most important needs, you are discovering a person’s driving motivation, what gives meaning and motive to a person’s life… their life blueprint!

 In marriage or any committed intimate relationship, each person must be aware of the other person’s needs in order to know what’s going on. Not knowing a partner’s needs inevitably leads to frustration and disappointment since even though a person may feel that he/she is giving everything, they are not giving what the other person really needs, in the way that the other person needs it. The challenge is that people’s deepest needs are often extremely specific and can be tricky to discern – it’s like a “secret button.” If spouses never find each other’s secret button, the relationship will feel difficult, and even impossible. If couples find the secret button and figure out how to give each other what each truly needs at the highest level, they will be able to generate levels of trust, happiness and love more profound than they ever thought possible.

The 6 Human Needs was developed by Tony Robbins, the father of the coaching industry, and Cloe Madanes, a world reknowned psychologist and psychotherapist, who both trained and certified me as a Life & Relationship Coach, Marriage Educator and Divorce Preventionist. I’m grateful to have learned this tool in a critical moment of my own marriage.

HERE’S MY STORY…

When my husband lost an 11 year job through no fault of his own when I was pregnant with our first son, I had no clue what was happening to him as a person and as a “mature masculine man”, because I didn’t understand his needs, nor my own. So I blamed him. I blamed him for the way he was showing up for me, the way I felt he wasn’t treating me right or connecting with me the way I needed. Instead of showing up with love and support when he was already down, I showed up with resistance, defensiveness, even contempt. I failed miserably to understand how his most valued needs were attached to his significance, success and certainty at work, while my most valued needs revolve around growth and love & connection. Because his top needs were no longer being due to his job loss, he wasn’t able to give me love and connection the way I needed it, because, ironically, it’s our human need to meet our most valued needs first before we can address the less valued needs.

Becoming an expert in the 6 human needs transformed me, the way I show up for my husband, the way I think and feel about him, the way I react to him, and the choices I make regarding how I show up for him. This, in turn, allowed him to be the man and partner I needed and wanted, even through the immense pain and challenges he was facing at the time.

I’m beyond grateful for having learned this tool and I teach it with determination and passion to my private individual and couple clients as well as in my workshops and company trainings in hopes that it can help those I serve even if just a small fraction of how it’s helped me!

HERE ARE THE 6 HUMAN NEEDS:

All humans universally share these needs. What makes each and every one of us so unique is that we each value two needs out of the six. Whatever our top two needs are completely and directly determine our thoughts, our feelings, our choices, our ACTIONS… and ultimately our destiny. Your success in any human relationship, including the relationship you have with your SELF… hinges on your ability to discover which needs you and the other values most and what has to happen (your “rules”) to meet those needs. When spouses learn this, they will find the secret button that brings on love and happiness. A marriage never breaks up when the partners are meeting all of their partner’s needs at a high level.

CERTAINTY

Certainty that we can be comfortable – to have pleasure and avoid pain. Comfort, security, safety, stability, feeling grounded, predictability and protection.

UNCERTAINTY/VARIETY

Variety and challenges that exercise our emotional and physical range. Our bodies, our minds, our emotional well-being all require exertion through instability, exercise, suspense, entertainment, and surprise, as well as fear, conflict, and crisis.

SIGNIFICANCE

Every person needs to feel special, important, needed and wanted, admired, that our lives have a special purpose and meaning. Pride, importance, achievement, performance, perfection, evaluation, discipline, standards and competition.

LOVE & CONNECTION

Everyone needs connection with other human beings and everyone strives for and hopes for love. Togetherness, inclusion, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness and romance.

GROWTH

Everything is either growing or dying. Nothing is stagnant. We need to constantly develop and expand ourselves emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

CONTRIBUTION

We all desire to go beyond our own needs and give to others. Everything in the universe contributes beyond itself or is eliminated.

The first 4 Needs, Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety, Connection/Love and Significance, are essential for human SURVIVAL. They are the fundamental needs of the personality – everyone must feel that they have met them on some level in order to survive. The last two needs, Growth and Contribution, are essential to human FULFILLMENT. They are the needs of the spirit, and not everyone finds a way to satisfy them, although they are necessary for lasting fulfillment.

Because we humans share the same nervous system, everyone experiences the same 6 Human Needs. However, everyone finds different ways of satisfying each of these needs. Also, each of these needs can be met in ways that are positive – increasing the wellbeing of ourselves and others, or negative – decreasing the wellbeing of ourselves and others.

Here are examples of both positive and negative ways a person could meet each of the 6 human needs: The need for Certainty can be met by going to school and obtaining a degree, or by avoiding challenges or risks that lead to our growth. The need for Uncertainty / Variety can be met by reading about different subjects or meeting different kinds of people, or by engaging in high-risk sports or violent behavior. Some ways of satisfying these needs are good for the person’s well-being, good for others and good for society, while other ways decrease or sacrifice well-being for everyone. The need for Connection/Love can be satisfied through good deeds and kindness or by domination of others who are forced to show appreciation. The need for Significance can be met by being the best at something, or by having the biggest problem. Similarly, one can Grow and become a better person… or a more successful criminal. And one can Contribute to the well-being of many… or the downfall of another person.

Understanding our human needs brings empowering clarity to our lives by giving us awareness and choice in how we go about creating more joy & fulfillment in our lives and most valued relationships.

WANT TO DIVE DEEPER…

in to your personal relationship scenario or challenge to better understand your own or your partner’s human needs blueprint?

I INVITE YOU…

to connect with me over video or phone for 20 minutes so you can get immediate relief with a perspective shift that will inspire you to TAKE NEW ACTION with yourself, your partner, and your family by knowing and understanding your human needs blueprint! 

SCHEDULE YOUR NO-OBLIGATION COACHING CONVERSATION WITH ME HERE!

 

Cheers to Your Extraordinary Relationships,

Jennifer Blankl

Certified Relationship Coach & Divorce Preventionist

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WHY MANY LEAVE THE PARTNER THEY TRULY LOVE…

As a Certified Relationship Coach and Divorce Preventionist, I have the huge honor of working with women and men to help them navigate many different relationship issues such as connecting on a deeper level, improving their communication, reigniting intimacy, navigating their way through conflict and more. And what I have learned is that people strongly consider leaving.. or do leave a relationship not because they don’t love the person… but because they have lost all hope that their partner can help them meet their needs. As humans, we all share the same universal human needs that we each must meet on a certain level to feel happy and content on a daily basis. If one or more of our needs, especially the top needs we each uniquely value most, goes unmet for a long enough period of time, we lose hope that we can get that need or needs met inside of our love relationship. What breaks my heart is that most of the time, these needs go unmet because of a simple lack of awareness around what their partner’s needs, especially their most valued needs, are. Our needs also go unmet when we, ourselves, don’t know what our needs are and how we are subconsciously and consciously going about meeting them. Assessing the needs of my clients and their partners is the first step I take in my work which always leads to a ton of “AHA” moments and breakthroughs, because here hides the key information about one’s self and one’s partner. It’s beyond empowering and clarifying to get your hands on this information.

With that said, I have found that there is one particular behavior that causes people to lose hope in their love relationship that seems to outweigh all others. And that is an ongoing and general LACK OF PRESENCE. So what I’m saying is that a lack of presence is the biggest cause of unmet needs. Not too much conflict, or financial warfare, or parenting style differences… it seems to come back to PRESENCE.

For some women, it’s competing with their guy’s work and “workaholic” nature. For others, it’s competing with their man’s video game time after work. For many, it feels like sitting alone even though your man is next to you, because he’s always checking his phone or other gadgets.

And in my experience as a Coach, it’s the Good Guys… the purpose-driven, loyal, hard-working, responsible, nice guys that are falling pray to a lack of presence. It’s the guy that totally loves his woman and can’t imagine being without her… but he’s not there. Not in the way she needs him to be to feel truly seen, heard, understood and loved. Like so many couples, one or both people have fallen in the trap of being there physically, but not being fully present.

And women are just as guilty of this as well. A busy stretched-thin mom that has nothing left to give at the end of the day after her man comes home from work because she’s depleted.  Or the driven career woman that struggles shutting off “work brain” in order to be present for her family. So I’m not trying to make this about one gender or another… it definitely goes both ways here.

So there’s a lot to be learned about your human needs which essentially defines your human blueprint… the thing that’s driving your every thought, emotion, action and choice in life. The golden nugget that could transform your life and relationship is in discovering what your top needs are and really understanding how your needs are impacting your life and key relationships.

But first must come PRESENCE. Because without presence, we cannot effectively work toward this kind of deeper understanding of ourselves and our partner. We must first become present for our partner to even begin these deeper discoveries, so that’s why it is THE first crucial step in transforming any relationship.

Here are some things you can do beginning TONIGHT to connect with your partner on a deeper level, all while giving them your complete, undivided PRESENCE:   http://bit.ly/ConnectExercises .

So TAKE ACTION in your relationship! It only takes 1 person to begin the transformation! Be intentional in how you give your partner your attention, your curiosity and heartfelt interest, your compassion, and your presence! Give this to them even if for just 4 minutes a day (see Exercise #1 in my free E-Book for a solid 4-minute connection exercise!). And for 7 powerful exercises to instantly connect with your partner, go to http://bit.ly/ConnectExercises to get your free instant download of my e-book! Try just 1 of these exercises and get fueled by how it feels!

 

Get your free Connection Exercises here and do one TONIGHT!   http://bit.ly/ConnectExercises

 

Cheers to your Extraordinary Relationships!

Jennifer Blankl,

Your Certified Relationship Coach & Divorce Preventionist

jen@jenniferblankl.com