~ By Dr. Saskia Coté, Relationship Editor ~
“Apologizing doesn’t always mean you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.” ~ Anonymous
What feeling comes up for you when you read this quote? Maybe anxiety, maybe you blank, perhaps you can only hear your thoughts and it is hard for you to feel your real feelings underneath it all. Sometimes in a relationship is it hard to feel your actual true emotions. I am one of these people. I think I feel my emotions, other people see me as a vocal person, but in reality it takes me some time just think and sit quietly before I really figure out what I truly feel.
Where this brings me, is to the value part of this quote. Do you value your relationship more than your ego? The easy answer is yes, but the ego doesn’t always agree with that. The point is not to value everything around you more than yourself and/or to allow someone to treat you in a way that’s not right. The point is to sometimes put your relationship ahead of yourself. In a healthy relationship both partners will put the relationship ahead of other things without losing themselves in it. This is where I find this quote so powerful; it reminds me to put my ego aside and focus on what’s important to me, to us.
Mothers will naturally do this for their children. They put their children first and so do most parents. I have to include the dads in this as well 🙂 But why does it become so hard sometimes to do this for ourselves and our relationship(s)? Maybe something is out of balance, or maybe you do not get enough time by yourself. Or you are overworked or feel overwhelmed. In any of these cases it is not our partners fault. For me it is very hard to figure out what it really is I feel, and then how to communicate that that clearly, without blame.
See that is where the difficulty lies: I did not grow up learning how to communicate clearly and how to feel my feelings. And I’m not saying it is wrong or bad. It’s simply being aware that we do not know how to do something. When you decide you value yourself, and when you value your relationship, you can also make the choice to work on those things that need work. All I am saying with that is that we can all improve on some things. For me it is how to feel my feelings, including a larger variety of emotions and not just the top 3 I usually fall back on. And then take some time to think about what it is I’m trying to communicate. The next step will be to communicate clearly so my partner can actually hear me and not feel blamed.
A great exercise that helps with this is to repeat what the other person has said. Start with trying to say what you want to say without blame. Communicating in an “I” message usually works best: “I feel sad when …..” or “I really feel out of balance without my alone time.”
After that the partner can repeat what he/she heard: “I heard you say that you need some alone time” or “I hear that you feel sad.” Over time, this will help you communicate clearly, feel heard, respected and valued. And with that, you will both value your relationship even more.
Sometimes it gets cloudy, other days it rains, but sunshine is always sure to follow. My wish for you is many sunny blue-sky clear communication days.
About the Author
Dr. Saskia Coté is a Massage Therapist, Teacher, Intuitive Relationship Coach and Best Selling Author. She has been helping others for over 20 years. Saskia was called to the Holistic Health field after spending time at the Light Institute in Galisteo, NM. Her education continued back in the Netherlands studying Craniosacral with The Upledger Institute Europe in 1990. The next year Saskia moved from the Netherlands to Santa Fe, NM to study at the New Mexico Academy for Healing Arts. Having always enjoyed the educational aspects of her work, it is with that energy and intention that Saskia guides her classes, conducts her sessions and holds retreats. She is a certified Holistic Health Counselor since 2006, offering private consultations in the United States and the Netherlands. Continuing her own personal and professional development by graduating in April 2008 as a Doctor of C.O.R.E Education. Saskia has designed numerous continuing educating courses that draw on her expansive education and experience. She is currently the Director of Continuing Education at Cortiva Institute – Boston In keeping with her quest to constantly learn and challenge herself; she currently produces and hosts Alternatively Speaking at Valley Free Radio. Visit her website for more information: www.fallinginlovewithlife.com.