Added: Selma Chitwood - Date: 06.10.2021 19:38 - Views: 17935 - Clicks: 5895
in. A few weeks ago, my partner and I went through a challenging time in our relationship. Our moments of fun and connection gave way to complaints and barely contained tears. Our morning walks together, once a source of laughter and connection, became dangerous minefields of mutual triggers.
We thought about possible causes. Ma y be it intimate relations game because we worked and lived together and needed more time apart. Maybe it was because I had been feeling unusually anxious lately, and he was tired and overworked. Or maybe it was simply a natural process, some old trauma coming to the surface in order intimate relations game be healed, or some sort of cosmic test for us to prove ourselves as a couple.
And, to be honest, I think we did quite well getting through it. We embraced the challenge and the lessons that came with it. Despite often feeling drained and disheartened, we kept on trying, and we stayed put. But the truth is that after a while we just started feeling like crap, and we longed for our usual state of joy and connectedness. We wanted our happy relationship back, but nothing seemed to help us break this sad state of disconnection. And then one day, something happened: An online authentic-relating workshop brought us an unexpected solution.
Authentic relating, a movement born in San Francisco in the late s, consists of a set of practices and games that build skills, such as empathy and curiosity, with the goal of creating meaningful human connection. According to Sara Nessthe unofficial organizer of the movement, authentic relating plays around with changing the structure of traditional social interactions in order to create more space for authenticity, freedom, and trust. I had practiced authentic relating before, and several times I was blown away by its power to facilitate deep connection with anyone, even strangers.
But this time, attending a workshop with my partner made me realize something different: the potential of this practice to change our relationship with each other. There was one specific game from the workshop I felt particularly inspired to play with my partner. He took my suggestion, and we played it right after the workshop.
The game started with some nervous unease, which eventually descended into us visiting some of our deepest emotional wounds as a couple. I cried, then I sobbed, and then we hugged. It then guided us all the way through painful vulnerability — to a new way of listening, to deep understanding — and we ended up in a playful state of closeness and arousal we literally had to cancel plans just so we could jump into bed with each other. So how do you play this game?
I can handle them myself. I notice a desire to be physically close to you. I also notice a desire to be close to you and cuddle — and to tell you that I really love you. Despite its simplicity, The Noticing Game is very powerful due to one special feature: It brings our attention to the most intimate level of conversation — the relational level. According to Authentic Relating Training Internationalthere are three levels of conversation: informational, personal, and relational. The personal level talks about how we feel about the content at the informational level, and therefore it goes a bit deeper telling your partner you feel relieved and grateful that he did the shopping or expressing your feelings about the current government.
What are we doing right now? When I asked my partner about how he experiences this game, he used a beautiful metaphor: If we compare our thoughts and emotions to cars, then a regular everyday conversation is like watching a highway at night from afar — all you see are blurred yellow and red lights speeding in the distance. However, when playing The Noticing Game, we slow down our conversation so we can finally catch up with our thoughts and feelings, and they become clearer and much more manageable.
Sometimes we end up feeling like lovebirds in the honeymoon phase. Sometimes, it helps regain perspective so we can work more effectively through challenging emotions. Other intimate relations game, it makes us feel brave enough to venture into raw delicate topics, and then it leaves the wound open, without closure of any kind. Here are a few examples:. Research shows that one of the key elements for successful relationships is affection. And a key component of affection is our ability to be vulnerable with each other — to share our true feelings and to let the other person see us in our worst and best moments.
By increasing my emotional awareness in the present moment, The Noticing Game made it obvious to me that I often refrain from saying certain things to my partner out of pride or out of a desire to maintain a certain image of myself. For example, I noticed that I usually struggle with being the first one to say sorry or show love after a disagreement it hurts to admit, but I have a tendency to sulk occasionally.
Not only has The Noticing Game allowed me to identify the moments when I avoid vulnerability, but it also gave me the tools to open up and be more authentic. But there is also a part of me that wants to connect and wishes to say that I love you. By opening up about the vulnerable spots in ourselves, not only do we feel a huge relief and much more lightness in our intimate relations game and more capacity, therefore, to hold space for the other personbut we also expose a tenderness that inspires love in others.
Clinical psychologist and developer of emotionally focused couples and family therapy EFT Dr. Just like [British psychiatrist] John Bowlby talks about in his attachment theory concerning mothers and. The same thing is going on with adults. My partner and I noticed we often avoid complete authenticity out of fear of hurting each other and endangering the security of our attachment.
The Noticing Game makes us notice those moments and encourages us to speak anyway by creating a safe space where we can not only share openly but also listen to the other person with more empathy. I notice aversion. I notice some pain in my chest. I notice my jaw starts to hurt.
I notice some shame coming up because of what I just said, and I feel lost and helpless. Building this safety to share has allowed us more space to address topics that usually feel scary. One day we were playing this game and we noticed that we just went on and on repeating the same thing:.
However, because the game keeps pulling our attention toward the honesty of the present moment, we have no choice but to keep repeating ourselves … until finally we start understanding each other. Very often, playing this intimate relations game reminds us that the only way out is through; sometimes, we need our unhealthy patterns to be played in repeat so we can finally see the other side and move on. So have we solved our relationship problems for good? Relationships are as alive, as complex, and as ever-changing as the people who make them, and therefore there will always be challenges to face.
But I do think this game allowed us to go one level deeper in our connection with each other — and also with ourselves.
As I played the game and described my every mood and emotion and thought in as much detail as possible, I noticed something interesting: how my words can directly influence how I feel. When playing The Noticing Game, I can choose which of those to mention, and what I choose to mention influences how my emotional state develops. No matter how sad I feel, if I look for the tiniest bit of happiness inside of me, my attention will naturally shift to a happy state.
There is power in pure awareness and noticing the present moment, but true power comes when you realize that whatever you choose to notice becomes your reality. And when you do that with someone else, your relationship can change tremendously. Habit Coach.
Explore your potential, find a new level of productivity, live healthier, make an impact on the world. Get started. Open in app. in Get started. Get started Open in app. Facing emotional distance, conflict, or frequent triggers in your relationship? The Noticing Game might help. The Noticing Game : How to Play. The Three Levels of Conversation. Here are a few examples: 1. We feel safer sharing with each other Clinical psychologist and developer of emotionally focused couples and family therapy EFT Dr. More from Better Humans Follow.
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