I get many emails everyday from people seeking help.
Most of the time, these emails come as one of two forms:
1) They are complaining about how angry, frustrated or confused they are at something their partner did, and they are asking me why their partner did what they did, and what they should do about it.
2) They disagree or do not see eye-to-eye on certain major issues in life, or the direction they want to go in the future, and they are asking me how to convince their partner to see what they see.
And most of the time, the advice I want to give is simply “Well, have you talked to your partner about it?”
But of course, I know the problem runs deeper than that. I knew that they would have talked to their partners about the issue already if they could — but of course, the problem is they can’t.
Most couples suffer from a lack of psychological safety — they are afraid of freely and openly expressing their thoughts, opinions and ideas about something.
They are afraid of expressing themselves for the fear of being judged, criticized, or having their partner respond badly to their questions or expressions.
So what happens instead?
Instead of simply walking over to their partner and asking them exactly what they asked me, they:
- Constantly are trying to read between the lines and figure their partner out from a distance.
- They spend hours racking their brain, going to forums, asking their friends, or emailing me to get some insight as to what their partner’s words and actions meant.
- They get angry and they panic every single time they disagree with each other on major issues in life.
- They overthink and overanalyze everything they say and do, and everything their partner says and does.
- They constantly feel like they are walking on eggshells around each other because they are afraid of being mis-judged, mis-understood, or making the other person mad.
This is why relationships are so tiring for most people.
They feel unsafe to openly and freely ask the questions they want, or express the thoughts they want.
So they keep all their thoughts in their head and they turn their minds into this infested pit of self-doubt, contradiction, paranoia, and confusion.
And the worst part of this is that 99% of the thoughts that are festering in their own heads are probably wrong.
So one of the most important things in a relationship is to understand how to create psychological safety.
Quite simply, psychological safety is the secret ingredient to effective communication.
It is an environment where both persons feel free to freely and openly share their questions, thoughts, ideas and opinions with each other, without fearing judgement or adverse responses.
And once psychological safety is established, that is when misunderstanding will begin to go away, when communicating will become more effortless, and a real and deep understanding and compassion will begin to take place in the relationship.
That is when you no longer have to be confused, frustrated or angry at your partner and at the relationship, because if something confuses you, you can simply walk over to your partner and ask “Why” or simply tell your partner your thoughts.
If you think you are struggling with psychological safety in your relationship, then schedule a FREE 50-minute strategy session with me.
I would love to talk with you.