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.