Out of fear of being offensive or aggressive, I hold my tongue and avoid going into the heart of issues with clients. I’m not fond of this behavior in myself. Especially when I desire to respond authentically, but I feel like I can’t or don’t know how to.
With most relationships, this isn’t the case. But for the ones it is, I’ve uncovered tools from “The Gift of Therapy” to help.
A significant takeaway is to stick to feelings and focus on the specific behavior that caused the sensation. Without interpreting it.
Statements like “You aren’t looking at me because you’re avoiding me” or “You’re trying to manipulate me by not talking” are interpretations.
A Gift of Therapy proposes this: “Ted. I’m very much aware that you don’t ever meet my glance. I don’t, of course, know why you look away, but I am aware that it prompts me to speak to you very gently, almost as though you are fragile, and that sense of your fragility prompts me to weigh carefully everything I say to you. I believe this caution prevents me from being spontaneous and feeling close to you. Do my comments surprise you? Perhaps you’ve heard this before?”
That wording by Dr. Yalom is a Picasso masterpiece. But it’s also vulnerable and perceptive and a way that shows how we can draw closer to one another.
Speaking of closer, I’ve also been thinking about an inevitable part of the relational process – letting go. In the past, this has always been a scary unknown that I don’t like thinking about, but I wonder if it might be beneficial to make space for it?
Does that make sense?
Like, instead of clawing and gripping onto the people around me and never being ok with the inevitable ending of their life, I can instead just accept it. And also, letting go in this way means more genuine conversations and relationships in the present.
Just a thought.
Well, it’s later than I expected to be writing, and I need solid rest to head into my work day tomorrow. I hope you had a good day – I did.
Thanks for being here. Love, Jaclynn