Start by communicating your feelings clearly and without absolutes.
5 min read
The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
For entrepreneurs , working from home is not new, what may be new is having your partner at home . And your children . Have less privacy and very little time in silence. Add some extra stress and anxiety to this unexpected scenario, and insulation at home becomes the perfect fuel for frustrations and fights.
What you need most right now: support and time. Support for the understandable mix of emotions and changes in priorities, and time to devise, innovate and adapt to the environment. But unless you consciously make them a priority, these needs may be the last thing you have as you and your best friend navigate a new daily reality. Here are four quick tips to help you fan the flames of intimacy and connection so they can be a dynamite duo during this time.
1. Communicate your feelings clearly and without absolute
When you feel frustrated or upset or the news starts to raise your anxiety levels, use the magic phrase “A part of me feels [insert emotion here].” For example: “A part of me feels sad. Part of me is concerned. Part of me is frustrated. ” These phrases are a smart way to express a negative emotion that you are feeling while creating space for other emotions and possible solutions. Regardless of whether you are angry with your partner, frustrated with one of your children, or dealing with the impact of the coronavirus on your business, it is important not to express ourselves in absolute terms.
When you say, “I am frustrated” or “I am disappointed,” what the other person hears is an absolute. There is no room for other emotions. It is as if you had said: “I am 100% frustrated” or “I am 100% disappointed”; whereas if you say “A part of me is frustrated” or “A part of me is disappointed”, you are communicating that this is not a unique emotion. You are leaving room for respect, hope, love and connection. The tension decreases because you have opened the door to other more positive feelings and have created a space for dialogue, rather than being defensive.
2. First validate the feeling, then solve the problem
During a crisis, it is tempting to feel that we are in control and try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. With the right intentions but the wrong strategy, you can trigger anger in your partner, even without knowing it. When your partner says, “I'm on the stand” or “I'm scared,” you feel like you should react quickly and say, “Don't be scared, don't worry, there's no reason to get stressed. You're exaggerating, calm down. ” Aha … Nothing useful. Any. The first thing you should do is validate your partner's feelings. Try saying, “I get it,” “It makes sense,” “I know how you feel.” Perfectly valid responses as input since they allow you to show the other that you understand, respect and accept him. Stop, take a deep breath and now ask: “What can I do to help you?” Allow your partner to tell you what they want or need. Communicating clearly and meeting the needs and desires of the other will make them succeed in their relationship.
I get it, there is a lot of stress and tension inside the house. You hardly have time to redesign your website or send important emails, and now I'm here telling you that you should send a flirty little message to your wife. But yes, take a minute a day to send a flirtatious message or to whisper a pleasant feeling in your ear. Giving yourself a few seconds to connect, reminding yourself that you are a team, that you are going to get through this together, does a lot to maintain intimacy, connectivity and respect within your most important relationship during stressful times.
4. Schedule time to be alone
If they have children, it is imperative that every dad have free time without the children. Whether it is to work, to go for a walk or to bathe, or to do what you want, but this time must be scheduled for everyone. Yes, lock it on the calendar. Respect the fact that you are both better dads and people when they have time to recharge. If there are no children in the equation, this also applies. Blocking time to be alone simultaneously communicates that there will be timeshare later. It implies that at another time of the day they will meet to reconnect. For families, this sets limits so that everyone can focus on their individual responsibilities, from homework to home activities, and gives siblings free time between them.
Home quarantine will require certain adjustments. However, when you make your partner your priority, it can surprise you how incredibly lucky you are to be able to spend this confinement with your favorite person.