How To Clear The Buildup That Causes Breakdowns In Relationships
In the last blog post I introduced three elements for bringing out the best in your relationship. As promised here is the next practice in establishing communication patterns that honour, respect and bring out the brilliance within yourself and your partner.
Clearing The Buildup To Prevent a Breakdown
When there is a mental, emotional or energetic build up in one partner the chances of a breakdown/fight increase. Our capacity to think logically, rationally AND be in touch with our emotions, feelings and have sensitivity towards our mate is completely connected to being energetically, emotionally and mentally CLEAR.
Doing a verbal, mental and emotional dump or offloading is often the only thing that can reset the entire system and get us back to feeling at the top of our game.
The actually structure for the clearing is simple, and you truly do have to follow it exactly as its presented or things can get offside pretty quickly. Lets start with a few guidelines.
If you are the one in need of clearing:
1. Ask permission.
Seriously, launching into your “stuff” without even checking in with the person you are “sharing” with is called projectile emotional dumping. Your partner isn’t the dump that you can just offload onto anytime you want. When we do this we quickly build up resetment, disrespect and distance in our relationships.
When asking permission be 100% honest about what you need. If you know you need 30 minutes but you say 5, you are already out of integrity and you disrespect your partners time by not setting up the expectations properly.
You have to give ALL of the information clearly and openly for another person to make a choice. Anything else but full disclosure is a manipulation of your partner and yourself, which won’t feel good and it won’t end well either.
2. Be ok with a Yes or a No from your partner.
Just because they are your partner doesn’t obligate them to have to hold space every time you need it. Of course as your partner they likely will be able to listen and be there for you much of the time, but where people begin to self destruct in partnership is when they believe their partner has to be their crutch ALL the time.
Here is the truth. They won’t be. They can’t be. They are just as human as you and not always going to be in the optimal mind/heart space to give you what you need. Making peace with this fact creates more space for harmony, connection and for them to show up for you.
Sometimes the most honourable and respectful thing your partner can do for you in times of turmoil is say no- if that is their truth. Only your partner knows what they can give in the moment. If they have something else on their mind and aren’t able to give your stuff their full presence, its in both of your best interest to be ok with the no.
If they aren’t in a place where they can be your person, have a couple other trusted people in your life (whom you have made previous, clear, verbal agreements with) who you can call up and ask for support. Its ok to do this.
3. Whatever your partners answer- give them positive acknowledgement.
Gratitude goes along way in a relationship. If your partner says Yes I can do that for you, thank them for their time, attention and willingness to be there for you.
If your partner says no, thank them for being honest, truthful and guiding you towards an alternative resource that will help you get through what you are facing.
Either way gratitude is a must.
If you are on the receiving end of the clearing:
1. Be honest.
Telling your partner you can listen and hold space for them when you can’t isn’t kind, its a lie. Being honest, even if its not what your partner may want to hear is one of the healthiest things you can do long term. Your honesty is a reflection of the relationship you have with your own needs and boundaries. If you respond with love and kindness, even if you say no, your partner can be left feeling supported and loved.
2. Make sure to share what you may need to fulfill the request.
Sometimes, our partners will approach us when we are in the middle of something and the timing isn’t optimal. If this is the case, let your partner know you want to be there for them, now isn’t the best time and give them the exact time they can count on you to be available. Again, honesty is going to be essential here. Only make promises you are able and intent on keeping.
3. Acknowledge your partner.
It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and ask for support. Even if you aren’t in the head or heart space to help always reinforce their courage, integrity and strength for having reached out for help.
Positive reinforcement when your partner is acting in ways that showcase being responsible for their inner world is a game changer in relationships.
4. Don’t take anything personally.
Whatever comes out in the clearing has NOTHING to do with you even if you hear your name. Its a build up of story, false perceptions, judgements, emotions and any other residual unacknowledged crap that swirls around in the mind when we have moved away from our spirit. If you hear things literally or as a personal attack this process will blow up in the worst possible way. This is why you too need to be responsible for your state and honest about if you are really in the right frame of mind to just hear what is being said without being reactive, defensive or trying to fix or change it.
The second you offer solutions, fixes or defences- the sacredness of this practice goes out the window and the opportunity for deep intimate connection through communication is gone.
Once the clearing is finish that is the time to start a new conversation about possibilities, solutions and navigating the ways to create more understanding with each other.
The Clearing Formula
If you are needing to clear:
1. Ask permission with this simple statement:
“Hey I’m feeling really heavy/out of sorts right now and not really able to show up as the best version of myself possible. There is something going on in me that I would really appreciate the space to get it out and get clear so I can get back to being great in our relationship and in my life. Are you able to listen for the next 10-15 mins and help me get back on track?”
2. Wait for their answer.
3. If the answer is yes, ask this if they haven’t brought it up:
“Is there anything you might need from me in order to be able to hold space for me in this way?”
At this point they might say, yes I need you to stick to the time we agreed, they might share they need a few minutes to finish up what they are doing, or most often they might say they need to receive acknowledgement and thanks afterwards.
4. Acknowledge you understand and agree to what they need by saying:
“Yes, I can absolutely _____ .
5. Thank them for their generosity and support before you launch in.
“Thank you so much your willingness to support me in this way right now, it really means a lot to me.”
6. Then begin the clearing.
For as long as it takes, no censors, verbally vomit everything that is swirling around in your mind. The more yucky the better (saying it gets it out so it can’t manifest into a troublesome situation later). What you are afraid of, what you are angry about, what you are frustrated with, any victim story, the more dramatic the better.
If you go full you, this shouldn’t last more than 15 minutes. For most people, and all the clients I have taken through this process the usual sweet spot is 3-7 minutes. I have yet to see someone “spew” for longer, but Im sure its possible.
The only time it goes longer is when the listener isn’t actually listening. If the listener is getting reactive, defensive or trying to give solutions or fixes this “clearing” turns into a fight that can last much longer.
7. More gratitude.
When you are done, thank your partner again and if they had a request of what they needed this is a great time to give it to them.
“That is all, thank you so much for listening and holding space when I needed it the most. What I appreciate about you most right now is ______. Thank you, I love you.”
If you are the listener:
1. Give an honest and kind answer to their request.
“Yes, I am able to provide that for you right now.”
“I love you and right now I am not in a place where I can responsibly provide that for you right now.”
2. If you are a Yes let them know what you might need.
“What I need is to receive a heartfelt appreciation after you are clear. Will that work for you?”
3. Regardless of your yes or no acknowledge them.
“I know how much courage it takes to ask for what you need, thank you for trusting me to be this person for you.”
4. Remind them how you intend to listen.
“You can count on me to listen to you with 100% attention, respect, love and presence. I also promise not to take anything personally, since I know this is a process for you to get clear. I won’t offer solutions or fixes unless you specifically ask for them. I am ready when you are.”
At first when you start using a tool like this it might feel a bit weird or mechanical. However, keep using it as its deigned until you find your flow together. Eventually you both will co-create a version of this dialogue pattern that works with your unique personalities. Until the foundation has been established, the way either of you might say something could be misunderstood and cause more friction than flow.
If you need a little support in this department feel free to reach out and I can certainly hook you up with additional tools, resources or direct 1-1 time with me to navigate these waters.
Looking for love in all the wrong places? I wrote a book for you- Sabotaged Love: The 12 Archetypes Keeping You From The Love You Want and if you are looking to thrive in life by living and leading with love, HIRE Me. Your heart will be so glad you did.
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