No Sugar Coating

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When TSH and I had our issues earlier this year, we agreed absolutely honesty going forward. No bullshit, no sugar coating.

It’s a hard thing to do, when you want to protect someone’s feelings or are scared to be that honest and vulnerable. But it’s a necessity for the sort of communication and relationship I want to be in. And that leads to connectedness.

We agreed a ‘safespace’ strategy. If we’re having a conversation and one of us needs more thinking time, or isn’t comfortable with it any more, or just needs time-out, we’ll safeword. It’s a no judgement thing and allows us to actively consent and engage.

We can talk about the hard stuff and know that we’ll be kind to each other. And neither of us are good at thinking on our feet, so it means we can find our words and continue later.

Of course, it’s not always quite that straightforward. Tempers flare on occasion and it doesn’t stop us both trying to get our point across first.

But it works.

It leads to better quality conversation and I’ve found, helps me communicate and find my words with other people too, however hard that sometimes is.

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14 thoughts on “No Sugar Coating

  1. that is a very good way to communicate – well done to you both – things are often said in the heat of the moment that on reflection one wouldn’t say

    1. We try to bring consent to everything and taking a step back really does help. Doesn’t always work, but it’s the best model we’ve found.

  2. That is an excellent idea – I think I will have to try and employ that in my relationship. We agree we want to be totally honest and have very many open conversations but occasionally because we are human and sensitive beings, one of us may feel uncomfortable with what is being said. In reflection I always look back and think it was at that point we should have taken time-out rather than letting it become heated – which it does.
    Great advice, TY!

    1. This year has been pretty hellish and having this model really has helped, particularly when I’ve been struggling mentally. It’s definitely helped us stay on track, thank goodness

    1. It really does work, most of the time. But even when one of us flares, it still lets us stop and say, “actually no,” and create the safe space.

      And hello, by the way, so good to see you 🙂 x

  3. I often advised couples to come up with a way to “take a break” when things were not progressing. If you think back on your previous discussions of situations you will find a predictable pattern of communication. Let your mind wonder back to those previous times and “look” at your responses/behavior and TSH responses/behavior to a situation. The object is to find a new way to respond/behave. The way is not so important as much as it is different. One does not change someone else one changes self in a way to upset the system and create a system change.

    1. I think this system does give us a better way of working that suits our communication more. It takes the heat out of a situation or allows life to continue around us, with far less interruption. And if you read back on the blog, you’ll see that we’ve had more than our share of ups, downs, blindsides and breaks this year… changing the way we communicate has made us stronger, and situations far easier to handle.

    1. I think there’s different ways of being honest too. Heat of the moment, retaliatory and instinctive responses and accusations can be very destructive, whereas it’s possible to be just as honest but much kinder, with a bit of time, a deep breath etc…

    1. It’s something we only started doing more recently and it’s a great strategy and we communicate so much better for it!

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