The above picture shows exactly what I was feeling while watching Married at First Sight this week. I was one huge bag of emos by the end of the episode, which was so evidently relayed in my tweets. Someone in Twitterverse asked if I saw pieces of myself in these relationships. I needed to ponder that and ponder it I did, into the wee hours of the morning. It took some deep digging and brutal honesty, but here it is...
Time to Process
If I've ever been the Queen Bee of anything, it's the, "I'm fine" statement. However, when I say it, nothing could be further from the truth. So what does saying, "I'm fine," really mean?
It means I feel sad, hurt, confused, scared, or disappointed. How I'm feeling may or may not have anything to do with you. It means that I need time to process. I can't tell you how long it will take or when I'll be in the right frame of mind to have a conversation about it.
For me, it ALWAYS means I need to feel supported and cared for. It's not about trying to push through it or fix it in the moment, it's about holding me close and validating my feelings. I'm not asking for agreement, I'm asking for understanding.
Once a foundation of trust is built, I feel more secure and safe to open up and share what's really going on. I can more freely say, "I'm not fine, but I will be. We'll talk about it and work through it. I just need time."
I've learned the most important thing is to make sure to use, "I'm fine," as a way to open doors for more deep and meaningful conversations.
I use sarcasm as a way of expressing humor to make light of a situation. It can take the weight or pressure off every day mundane things in a positive way and bring some much needed laughter into people's lives.
Occasionally, I slip and use sarcasm to wrap a cutting comment inside of a joke. It's a way to deliver a zing without having to take responsibility for the words...hence the, "It's just a joke" statement. I work hard not to do this because a joke at someone else's expense is never okay.
We've all been on the receiving end of a sarcastic comment. Tone is the determining factor on whether it's received well or causes conflict. You can tell from someone's tone whether their intention is to lift up or cut down. Remember, intent=impact. The best of intentions can have the worst impact.
I was deeply moved and saddened for both David and Ashley during their conversation with Dr. Joseph Cilona. I've had tough, heart-wrenching conversations where pain is involved and it's not easy.
As a direct communicator, I tend to say exactly how I feel. For me, honesty is the best policy as long as it's delivered with kindness. My communication style is the exact opposite of my husband's.
As an indirect communicator, he puts the feelings of others above honesty. He would rather say nothing than to say something that is not nice. This was clearly a disconnect for us early on and something that we are still working on.
I clearly see the same differences in communication styles between David & Ashley. The question is, how do you speak your truth so you can begin to build a foundation of trust?
Dr. Joseph Cilona nails it once again. He walked Ashley and David through this process and gave them and viewers the perfect example of how to communicate in a way that is honest, yet kind.
- First of all, he had Ashley identify the problem.
- Once the problem had been identified, Ashley explained it to David using "I" statements. By sharing how she personally felt, it took the blame off of David.
- David repeated what Ashley told him to ensure there was no miscommunication. Then he responded with how he felt.
- Lastly, they focused on the solution to the problem, removing the criticism from each other.
Perfect! That's what I love about Married at First Sight...new tools added each week to our relationship toolbox.
I'll close this week with words of wisdom from Dr. Joseph Cilona,
"Successful and enduring marriages are always growing and changing."
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