I had my haircut today and my lovely hairdresser asked me what I did for a living. I guess it was her way to create a relationship with me and have an excellent girly natter as she did my hair. I told her I was a couple’s counsellor, which made her intrigued. After chit-chatting while she gave my hair and scalp a good scrub, she asked me this question;
So, I guess communication is key to a good relationship?
In my head, I had a million and one things on how to answer this question. But this is what I said.
What is communication? If I have an argument with you, that’s a form of communication. If did something wrong and bought flowers and gave you the puppy eyes as I gave the flowers to you but I didn’t say sorry, that’s communication too. “oh yeah” she said. Emotional Closeness and Emotional Safety.
Emotional Closeness and Emotional Safety
The key to a good relationship is emotional closeness and emotional safety. If you feel close and safe with your partner, you will feel free to be yourself and go to work and live life with no worries because you feel secure. You won’t worry if someone else is ogling at your partner or fear that your partner will do something that would hurt you.
I mean you can be lying on the same bed six inches away and feel emotionally distant and insecure and conversely you can be here in London, and your partner is in Korea and feel emotionally close and secure.
Let’s talk about it so I can feel OK
OK so I’ll give you another example, I was watching ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ yesterday. I watch it for the family dynamics and less for the drama. Hehehe. Anyway, the family was taking a holiday in Bali, and this time, Scott was there.
In the scene, Khloe was checking in with him and how he was doing. Scott was having a great time with his ex-partner Kourtney and their kids. Khloe asked if Scott’s new girlfriend was ok with him being in Bali with his family.
According to Scott, his girlfriend said she doesn’t mind him going away on holiday with his kids and family. In fact, she encourages it. She also said talk to me about, and so I feel ok about it too. I thought that was a real mature response and a response, of someone emotionally secure in their relationship.
“Yeah, I get it!” my hairdresser said and goes on to ask me another question.
So, what about those people who are always looking for drama in their lives
Now, before I trained to be a couple’s counsellor, I had plenty of those types of “friends”. So, I knew what she meant.
I said have a look at how their life was as a child. That’s when you learn how to make friends and learn how to have relationships. Be it with your friends at school or with your family and other relatives. There is a wonderful couple on YouTube who are attending couple counselling, which can be an excellent example of this. You can find a snippet of the training video of this couple here
The lady in this session had a complicated life in her early years. Growing up, she learnt to protect herself from bullying, so she learnt to be reactive to anything she feels like a threat. She would lash out at anyone first. She learnt, to prevent herself from being bullied, she would have to react first to protect yourself. This is precisely what she does in her adult relationships and her romantic relationships too. It’s not that she does not love her husband; it’s just that that’s how she learnt how to have a relationship. Needless to say, her married life was full of “drama”.
Acceptance & Empathy is the antidote
To heal from this negative behaviour, she and her husband did the right thing. They went to therapy together. They learnt the negative pattern of their relationship and how it has made them feel stuck and unloved and filled their lives with drama, that was not working. It was tearing them apart. The couple learnt to hold each other tight when they feel at their most vulnerable.
They learnt to respond and turn towards each other with love and not react at the moment. They learnt to accept their vulnerabilities and looked at each other’s hurt with empathy and love. It took several sessions for this couple, but now they can love each other the way they deserve.
By the way, my hairdresser is such a nice person and asked some good questions. We had a good conversation, and I love my hair cut! If you have any question about romantic relationships that you would like me to answer, please email me here. I’ll be happy to answer them for you.