When you have a difficult romantic situation to deal with but you still need to get on with your day-to-day life, what can you do to clear your head and get focused again?
Isn’t it amazing how life seems to hit all at once? Your car breaks down, you and your partner start fighting, your bank card gets cloned… all while you’re in the middle of your final exams, or the day before a massive presentation?
The following strategy is designed to help you clear the thoughts in your head and do some damage control in your relationship so that you can get more practically focused on what you need to do next.
What you need
You’ll need a pen and paper, a quiet space where you can be completely alone and a smartphone or audio recording device.
What to do
1. Make a list of the issues
The first thing you’re going to do is make a list of all the things that are upsetting or worrying you in this situation, e.g. it feels like you are jealous when I pay attention to my friends or it never feels like I’m good enough for you.
The point of this part of the exercise is to get your inner voice to quieten down so that you can focus on what it is you need to do. By putting everything down on paper you get it out of your mind, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.
Very often, when our inner voice is running riot, it’s because the points are important to us and we carry an emotional charge around them. By putting the points down on paper, you no longer run the risk of forgetting your important arguments, and your mind can rest a little bit – if not most of the way.
2. Turn it around
Now we’re going to take each of the statements you’ve listed above and reframe them in a positive manner, so that you are clearly expressing what it is you want to say or do in that moment when it arises. For example:
- It seems like you get jealous when I’m with my friends can become:
- I love spending time with you – this affirms to your partner that their emotion is valid and that their needs matter to you
- I love the fact that you want to spend time with me – this affirms to your partner you want them around
- I have so much love to give you – this affirms to your partner that you love them and there is always enough love for them
- I can’t wait until you know my friends and experience how welcoming and warm and loving they are – this affirms that your partner belongs in the circle of friends and is welcomed
3. Record the script
Using your smartphone or recording device, you now take all your positively framed statements and record them in one long audio loop.
So a sample script could look like:
I’m always happy to receive your calls – it always brings a smile to my face when I get a message from you during the day too. I love being around you and just sharing space with you. You are so much fun to share time with. I always get excited when I know I am going to see you again.
However the script will be tailored to the unique needs of your relationship.
Once you’ve completed the script and recorded it, listen to it to make sure you’re happy and rerecord if you need to. Once you have a copy that you’re happy with, send it to your partner.
Firstly, this will enable you to tell your partner what your intentions are and what you mean, and you can do it uninterrupted. Secondly, because it’s framed positively, you are less likely to do damage to your relationship, and you don’t run the risk of getting caught up in the moment and responding emotionally because it’s prerecorded.
Your partner can also use the positive audio framing as a nightly track for a period of a month or more so that they can reframe their thinking around you, and install new ideas using your voice. This can be a very powerful technique if done correctly.