Resolving Conflict In Your Relationship
With your host Amanda Testa
Do you feel super irritated when conflicts arise in your relationships? If you're looking for some great tips on living with more harmony, and want some solid strategies for creating positive change in your relationship, tune in. Also, learn what we may unknowingly be doing to play a part in conflict, and what to do about it so you can feel more joy, connection and pleasure in your partnership.
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(Complete Transcript Below)
In this episode you'll discover
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Here are the resources I shared in this episode:
5 steps for better communication in your relationship.
Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
Braving and how to build trust in your relationship by Brene Brown.
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Amanda Testa (00:02):
Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Tesa. I am a Sex Love and Relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex love and relationships and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome. Hello, and to the podcast, this is your host Amanda Testa. And in this podcast this week, I am going to be talking about resolving conflict. And how do you argue less or argue better? Let's say, and also kind of understanding how we might play a part in our relationship conflicts unknowingly. So welcome. And you know, one of the things that I'm gonna start with is just talking about how, you know, oftentimes when we can own our own part of maybe a conflict, yes. Sometimes this can be a very challenging thing sometimes. So even as we move into this podcast, just take a breath or two, find a comfortable place.
Amanda Testa (00:58):
Even if you're driving or whatever you're doing. Just find a place in you that feels stable and realize that every time we come to a relationship, there's a lot at play, right? We have not just two people, but two inner children, two family systems, two ancestral lineages, two egos, all the things that we have when we come to a relationship. So it's no wonder that we often have struggles. And when we have consistent disconnection or arguments, or repeating patterns of conflict can be really easy to think, oh, it's all my partner. They do this. They never do this. They're never present, blah, blah, blah. They don't make me feel valued. All these things, you know? And I also wanna say too, like all these things can be very true and I'm not discounting anything. I'm not discounting the realness of any pain you may be experiencing.
Amanda Testa (01:41):
And I'm sorry for any, anything that you are experiencing that feels painful. I think sometimes that one of the most healing things is just understanding that, you know, we're human, right. We have to forgive ourselves and we often have to forgive our partners and what's been so, so eye opening in my own relationship is realizing where I might be causing disconnect, unknowingly. Right. Are there places where I'm just throwing in the jabs? Just because I wanna feel like I have the last word or feel like I just get it outta my system. Like I'm feeling mad and I wanna just throw it on someone else. Right. And this is normal, right? We all have these moments when we are not from coming from a place that is our most resourced place. Right. But there are things we can do about it. Right? They are, are things we can do about it.
Amanda Testa (02:26):
And I think that I can even tell you a story that happened this morning, a conflict that happened this morning. And we were both asleep. My husband was outta town last week traveling. So he got back late last night and we kind of had slept in a little bit for us. And the dog starts barking cuz he needs to go out. And of course I didn't wanna get up because I had a migraine since yesterday afternoon and was trying to just feel better. And he was tired from traveling. And so he's like, I don't wanna do it. I was like you do it. He was like, I don't wanna do it. I was like fine.you've been out of town all week, and you can't even help with the dog? Grumph. Right. That was my reaction. I will admit that is not a good reaction <laugh> and so I went out and let the dog out huffing and puffing fed him and whatever.
Amanda Testa (03:06):
Then I came back and got in the bed and you know, he tried to touch me and I was like, don't touch me. <Laugh> and I was just so. So I sat there fuming for a while and then I finally calmed down. But then in that moment, even I was like, okay, what, what was that about, What happened there? Why am I so mad? And oftentimes when I do a little bit of reconnaissance on my actions, I realize, okay, here's what the problem was. Number one, I had a need and I did not express it well. So if I had gone into that experience like, Hey babe, I know you're tired. You just got back from traveling, but I have a really bad migraine and it would really be so helpful if you could get up and, and deal with the dog right now.
Amanda Testa (03:40):
And guess what? He would've done it. I know for a fact he would've done it. But when I asked like such a bitch of course he wasn't willing to help. And I realized, okay, well, you know what? I played a part in that. Maybe I didn't realize it at the time, but of course, you know, I just, I was half asleep. It was, you know, one of those discombobulated moments where I was not my best self. So yes, even a relationship expert can make mistakes and then forgive myself and also apologize and explain why I was so upset. And he was of course understanding and like, yeah, why didn't you just ask me what you needed? So at the end of the day, there was a boundary that I did not set. Right. I did not say what I needed. I didn't ask for what I wanted and no one's able to meet you when you come from that place.
Amanda Testa (04:18):
And so, you know, really we can be part of the problem sometimes. And it can be hard to admit that to ourselves, especially in conflict. And I'm always open to learning more about this because so often we aren't even aware of how we might be causing problems and you know, right. It's never me. It's always my husband for being an ass. He's the one that's being a Dick. Right. It's never me. I'm perfect. <Laugh> okay. I know I'm not perfect, but I like to think I am and you know, don't you sometimes, oh anyways, I just, I laugh because Hey, we are humans and we're gonna have our moments. We're gonna have conflicts. We can't avoid that in life. And it can also be hard to see another another person's perspective when it comes to conflict. And this is a really big part of owning up to where you could be part of it.
Amanda Testa (04:57):
Right? So maybe for me, like I yelled, maybe I called him an asshole, right? Maybe I said he was mean or something hurtful. Right. I can own up to that. Or maybe I just threw a jab or said something hurtful necessarily. We can all do that. Especially when you're in an argument or a fight and someone's hurting you. We all have our low moments. And we all, when we're triggered, we're coming from our least resourced place as I mentioned. So it can be very easy for these negative things to pop up. It's very easy to go into these reactive expressions, yelling, screaming, maybe you shut down, maybe you close off, put the wall up. Maybe you just Stonewall the person for a few days. Like everyone's different in how they respond to this. I'm definitely a fight person. So for me, it's like all the heat and anger and fire and yelling and loudness.
Amanda Testa (05:35):
So, you know, we are all different how we respond to this, but there are things you can do and it's a constant work in progress. And so you get better and better over time and you can catch yourself so quickly. You know, I think that's one of the improvements that I've seen in my own relationship is conflicts are resolved so much quicker. We're both willing to step forward and own our part and work together to resolve things because it's so much better for the both of us and we want harmony and connection. And so since we both have that shared goal, then we are willing to show up and do the work that's necessary. And you know, we're all, you know, there's a great body of work out there that I love called the work from Byron Katie. And you may be familiar with Byron Katie, but really what it has you do is really know where might you be projecting, right?
Amanda Testa (06:16):
Where might you be not being fair in your experience? I'll only go into this a little bit briefly here, cause it's a in depth body of work and it can take some time to kind of really let it sink in, but can be such a beautiful tool. And basically you, you think about a situation that was upsetting to you and kind of what you're, what you're noticing, right? Like maybe I am mad, my husband, because he didn't take the dog out. Right. And so then you go into these four questions. So in that experience I was thinking, my husband is insensitive. My husband is selfish. Right. Those are the thoughts I was thinking in my head. And you ask yourself you, the four questions. Number one, is it true? Yes or no. Right. That's a very subjective thing to say. So that's not necessarily true.
Amanda Testa (06:57):
Maybe in the moment that was an experience that I was was having, but was it really true? And the number two question, can you absolutely know that it's true? Yes or no. So can I absolutely know that my husband is selfish and insensitive. No, he's not always like that. Number three. How do I react? What happens when I believe that thought, right? How do you react? What happens when you believe that thought? So when I think my husband selfish or an asshole, or if he's being insensitive, then I'm closed off. I am short, I am argumentative. I am protective of myself. Right. <laugh> and then who or what would you be without the thought? So who or what I would be without that thought that my husband is selfish or insensitive, is I would be more understanding, I would be more empathetic to his experience.
Amanda Testa (07:39):
And then I found out that he was having A Fib like right. There was, we were both not feeling well. And so there was an underlying issue there that I didn't even realize, which is so often at play in relationship conflict. So the final part of this is turning the thought around which this can be more challenging. Right? So instead of saying, my husband is selfish you turn in aroudn and would say, I am selfish. I was selfish and insensitive to my husband. So, you know, my husband wasn't insensitive to me. He was being sensitive, which you know, that that part is a more challenging part. So you can really work with yourself. But the intention is just to kind of be aware of the projection or what you might be putting on the story where you can take your own part, if that makes sense. So obviously you can go a lot deeper with that and you can go to thework.com and download those worksheets, cuz they are just a great thing to tune into when you're having a raging thought or a racing thought or in a conflict though. And I also help clients with this as well.
Amanda Testa (08:28):
The next thing is when you are doing these processes, have a lot of self compassion because it can feel really hard sometimes to see where there's any part that you played it. And sometimes, honestly it can be just expecting more of someone than they are capable of giving, right? Expecting someone to be who they're not. And in those cases, here's the thing. If two people are coming together to something, if you have both agreed to work on the relationship, then that's different, right? Change can happen. But if only one person is doing the work and the other person never, never, never is open to showing up or working on it or going to see a coach with you or whatever, then that's a different story. But if someone is willing to work with you and they are showing up in that way, yes, it might not yet look like you want it to yet, but there's progress being made.
Amanda Testa (09:10):
Right? And you really have to celebrate those little pieces of progress and understanding that things take time to shift. But I do believe where there's a will, There's a way I really do. And there's always an opportunity for growth. And you know, if someone's not willing to work with you so many times often I work with women. Their partners are not on board, but eventually things change because they see the change in you or perhaps the way that you're showing up to the relationship is more, attuned more coherent. Maybe you are more of who you are and that brings out better in them. So in that case, that that makes a difference, right? And sometimes people just aren't willing to change. And in that case, you know, you just have to give it time and do your own work and just notice, is this something that you're willing to work with or not?
Amanda Testa (09:48):
And no one can make that decision, but you, but if someone's not willing to do the work on themselves, you can't force them to. Right. But if they're open to trying, then you can celebrate the trying. And I love this so much. And you know, one thing too is I love Brene Brown, how she talks about braving her acronym for breathing, which if any of you familiar with her, you might know this, but just around how trust is built in really small ways and its the little things that build trust, the daily little things of connection, daily, little things that you can do, to show up for your relationship. And even sometimes I forget these things, right? You have to really be intentional. You know, I know if my relationship is important to me, if it's a priority, I'm gonna be intentional about making my husband feel appreciated, right?
Amanda Testa (10:28):
I'm gonna understand what are the things that make him feel loved and do do those things. Even when I don't want to sometimes, and it can feel hard, right? Especially in a long term relationship, you're just annoyed. You don't feel like putting in the effort. Maybe you just wanna be in sweats and watch Netflix and eat popcorn or whatever. And that's fine to do on occasion. But if that's every night, all you do and there's more that you want, then you have to think, okay, how are things in the beginning of the relationship? Granted things happen in life, right? So we're always not gonna be like when we first met, but what were some of the qualities that you appreciated and enjoyed in yourself that you brought to the table back then, right? Maybe you put a little more effort into feeling good, right? Maybe you took better care of yourself.
Amanda Testa (11:04):
Maybe you need to make more time to take care of you so that you feel more whole so that you have something to give, right? Maybe you spent more time talking. Maybe you, maybe you guys went on more dates, right? Maybe it's creating different ways to be together. Right. And you know, sometimes going out to eat and drink, sometimes that can be really fun. And sometimes it can leave you feeling really bloated and tired and hungover. So that might not always be the best way to connect. So thinking about, you know, what are other ways that we can connect that don't involve eating and drinking? Maybe if that's what you're looking for, right? Maybe going on a walk, maybe exploring a new part of town together, maybe going go-kart racing, maybe going on a hike, you know, doing a lot of things that induce fear and adrinaline can actually be quite a turn on sometimes, right?
Amanda Testa (11:40):
That novelty doing something different. Maybe we go to an art museum. Maybe we go to a live music, show, all the things, right? It's up to you to choose what you wanna do and what sounds fun. Maybe it's going to a bookstore and buying each other a book and surprising each other. Right? Whatever it is, maybe it's listening to some music old school style. Oh my gosh, my husband and I sometimes do this and it is so great, right. That just tells you our age. But we put on an album that we love. You can listen to it on Spotify. Right? You don't have to have a record player, but the whole album, right. When this, the last time you just listen to a whole album. Ugh, it's so good. And it's so fun to just sit and listen to the music, putting your electronics away, making sure you don't have your phone or anything to distract you, which is a challenge.
Amanda Testa (12:16):
Cuz we're so used to being on them, like really forcing you to be present with the music, just listening, allowing your ears to pick up different nuances of the music. You know, it's actually a really great way to start to turn in tune into your sense and connect. So right. Other ways to play with your brain can be fun to connect because it forces your brain to, to work differently, right? Doing a puzzle, maybe learning a new game together like chess or whatever it might be because that creates more connection. And when there's connection, that leads to more emotional safety. And when there's more emotional safety that leads to more sexual safety and that leads to more sexual pleasure and experimentation and joy and wanting more of that, right? You gotta have that emotional safety be able to move to the higher levels of connection.
Amanda Testa (12:56):
And you know, another thing on that note, if you are wanting to get together with someone and spend more time and be more present, right. It's kind of sometimes being flexible on what that looks like, right? Because you and your partner might have different ways that looks so maybe for you, it means date night and you leave the house and you go out and maybe from your partner, it, when I get home from work, I wanna sit and talk to you for 15 minutes or that before bed, we actually lie in bed and talk before we fall asleep or whatever it is. Right. And sometimes it might look different than what you're expecting it to look like. So being aware like, okay, what is the end result? Are you receiving the connection that you're craving? Because really it's about, are you receiving what you need and are you allowing it to maybe look differently than you think it needs to look?
Amanda Testa (13:38):
And again, because when we're angry, when we're triggered, if our, you know, we're pissed, "oh my husband's working late again, Dammit, he working late every night, this week," or "He didn't text me back, blah, blah, blah," whatever it is, the key is to just notice like what is beneath that? Why am I so upset about this? What is it that I need? What is beneath that? What is beneath that? And also the thinking perhaps what's going on with my partner and what might they need. Those are hard questions to ask sometimes when you're triggered, but it helps you look from their perspective. Like, and also I love this for parenting too, because it's great with kids. Like when they're having a hard time what's going on for my child and what does my child need? The same thing for your partner, what's going on with my partner and what might they need and say, okay.
Amanda Testa (14:11):
So for me, I'm really mad because they worked late and I'm feeling like I'm not a priority, or I'm feeling like they didn't text me back. And so then I feel like I was being ignored or I'm not important. Right. And so why is that important to you? Right. Dig in deeper. What do you need? Well, I need clearer communication that makes me feel safe to know that I am going to be getting a text if you're gonna be late or that you had to work late. So we're gonna make up it by spending extra time together this weekend. Right. So there, so there can be some kind of concrete thing on the other end that you can actually ask for. So if you're gonna be late, I really appreciate if you could just text me and let me know. So I don't worry, whatever it might be, right.
Amanda Testa (14:48):
That you need to whatever kind of boundary that you need to set, that feels good to you and you know, right. Ever for everyone, it's different, and back to emotional safety and how emotional safety is created through small acts of trust, right? Through being able to talk, be listened to, to be able to hold space for one another, to be able to listen to one another, without interrupting, criticizing, throwig in a jab, not judging, not nagging. And that can be really hard. Not making assumptions about your partner. There is nothing that shuts down people more often than nagging, and it can be easy to do, especially when you have a turn time for something that your partner might have a different turn time for. Right. I think anyone might be listening can understand experience where maybe you've asked your partner to do something and you think, huh, that's an easy thing.
Amanda Testa (15:32):
I feel like that should be done like in the next 24 hours <laugh> and then a week later it's still not done and you feel frustrated. And this is a funny time for the work, because I remember in one of her stories talking about how upset she was, that that the partner was leaving the socks on the floor or whatnot. And that was so triggering to her. And she was feeling so unappreciated cause the socks were on the floor. But at the end of the day, she's the one that didn't like the socks on the floor. So she could do something about it. Right. She could solve her problem. And again, that's something to think about too. You know, if there's something that's irritating you, is this something I can solve myself? Or if my partner's not willing to do it, could I pay someone, do I call TaskRabbit?
Amanda Testa (16:02):
Do I do it myself? Do I hire someone? Do I call a friend to do it right? It can be so annoying, but at the end of the day, who wants it done? Right? And I think that can be, you know, everyone has different priorities and for kids, partners, whatever, right? Their priority might not be exactly the same as yours. And so understanding that we have, we have different priorities and I can also, I will fess up too, in my own relationship. I see that this, because often in our society, I'm in a, you know, I'm a, cis woman in a heterosexual relationship. So in our, in this way men are so conditioned that the only way they are valuable is if they are providing, if they are successful, monetarily, if they are making money, that equals success, that equals their doing a good job.
Amanda Testa (16:43):
That equals they are enough in life. Right. It can be very challenging to be with a partner like that because in, in, and honestly, so many men are like that because in their mind they feel like, well, providing for the family, that's my job. I do it for you. Right. And so if they work a lot, like my husband and he travels a lot and I can feel, sometimes it can feel hard. And so it can feel frustrating because oftentimes presence and connection and family values and having money to do things you want to do, they're all intertwined. Right. You know, and I also work with a lot of entrepreneurs and they get so busy. They, it can be really tempting. And my, myself too, at the end of the day to get back on the computer and be like, okay, I'm gonna just do a few more things.
Amanda Testa (17:19):
And the next thing you know, it's 10 30 and your partner's already asleep, which is okay on occasion. But if you're doing this every night, your partner's not gonna feel valued or seen. And alternatively, like in my, my case, if my partner's traveling a lot, I'm like, okay, what are the things that I need to feel connected? Even when they're, or even if they're working later, even if they're super busy, what do we need? And for me, I realized like for me, it's just like a little text here and there, it doesn't take long, easy to do. Right. And I think we've my husband. And I had a lot of conversations about what can we do for one another so that we still have fun and feel connected when we're not together. And so everyone's different there, but it's like having those conversations, asking for what you need and understanding what is realistic for your partner to cooperate with.
Amanda Testa (17:57):
And I talked about this a couple episodes ago when I was talking about my, my favorite little five communication tips of how to bring these delicate situations up. I can put link to that in the show notes, but you know, and I think too, for men, this is a lot of work for them. It is realizing that they are multifaceted beings, just like everyone is a multifaceted being. And I honestly feel for a lot of men because they are so hard on themselves. And, but just understanding that being successful is just one aspect of who you are. And oftentimes our relationship is the foundation for every single thing you do. And I feel like for men this is a really eye opening thing to realize sometimes is that we often have it so backward in our society. Because if you are in a relationship that fuels you, that nourishes you, or you enjoy pleasure together where you have great sex, where you turn each other on, where you flirt, where it's playful and fun.
Amanda Testa (18:42):
It's so fueling, it feels so good. It makes you inspired. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel happy. It makes you creative. It makes you kinder and more compassionate to your kids, to your friends, to your coworkers, right? Alternatively, if you're in a relationship that feels draining where there's constant bickering, where there's resentment, where there's zero connection, how do you think you're gonna show up to the world around you? Right. Oftentimes we do it backwards in our society. There we focus all on work or being successful or having the monetary riches or whatever it's or even it's like, oh, when I lose the five pounds, I'll feel good naked with my partner, but it's choosing the things you want now and implementing them in the small ways you can. So back to my story of, if you have a draining relationship, you know, oftentimes you'll think, oh, my work is suffering.
Amanda Testa (19:25):
So I need to focus more on work. Maybe I need to have a consultant or work with work harder or work longer hours, or just go all in at work. When at the end of the day, when you work backwards, creating the surroundings that provide a nourishing environment for yourself, that is what is gonna help you be better at work. That is what gonna increase your bottom line more than anything in all areas. And I like bottom line there because it's true because when you can move back to finding ways to connect, when you can get really good at resolving conflict, these are so key. You're always gonna have conflict, but you're never gonna be able to avoid it. And you're gonna deal with it in all areas of your life, right? You're gonna, you're gonna have to learn how to deal with discomfort, how to be with discomfort, how to be disappointed and not take it personally.
Amanda Testa (20:02):
So often we ask more of our partners than they can give. And that is another way that we can be causing harm, because if someone is truly not capable of giving us something and we keep asking for it, it's gonna cause problems, not only do you feel like you're banging your head against the wall, there's all the resentments that build up and all that kind of things that arise. So if you are still desiring to stay in the relationship and it meets your needs in other ways, then this, you know, this is something to look at, right? Okay. Maybe this one way, I'm not getting my need met, but I am getting support in other ways, in this one way, I'm not feeling like I'm getting the support I need. And my partner is not in a place where they can give it because maybe they're stressed or maybe they have their own challenges or maybe they're, you know, depressed, whatever it could be.
Amanda Testa (20:41):
Because, you know, we are two people with our own sets of challenges. And sometimes you might be in a situation where your partner's not able to give you what you want. And so in those situations, what I always think can be supportive is how can you create more support for yourself, right? Maybe you look into hiring more support, right? Maybe you create weekly dates with friends. Maybe you have a rotating call that you do with different friends and you take a walk and you talk to people, right? I love doing that. Cause not only are you like moving your body, but you're talking and you're outside. And that just serves a lot of purposes. You know, we can find ways of connections and yes, I know sometimes it can feel like work and it can feel annoying, but I'm just telling you like anything that you want to thrive, you have to work at it.
Amanda Testa (21:19):
So whether that's having a successful relationship, having, you know, a garden that's growing, having a clean house, like all the things you gotta do, the, the things that make it the way you want it to be. And so it is sometimes work. And so, you know, if you're asking someone to give you something, they can't give, you have to find other ways to give that to yourself. And it hurts when that happens. I know I've been there. It hurts. It hurts. You know, when my husband was going through his healing from his stroke, he didn't have a lot of emotional capacity. That was very hard for me. And that is one of my needs is to be supported emotionally. And that was so hard not to be able to get that from my partner. And what I learned though, through all that is that I gotta get myself supported and then that's so key because then I can come to the table, more resource.
Amanda Testa (22:01):
I can have more compassion for what they're going through and what they might be experiencing. Like his brain was working so hard to heal. He didn't have, have the extra bandwidth. Right. And so that's why the first step in my coaching so many times is creating a list of the things that support you in small ways and how to do those things. Even when it feels hard. And I'm talking about the simplest of things. And sometimes it feels really simple, like to the point where you're like, really, but yes, if you are feeling overwhelmed or if you're feeling stressed, if you're feeling like you're not getting your needs, met those little things, add up, I can't didn't even tell you how much. And sometimes you just don't wanna do 'em in those cases, you can just like have 'em all, you know, scroll 'em all up in a bowl and pull one out and just like pick one, okay, drink a glass of water.
Amanda Testa (22:37):
That is something I can do. Or if that one doesn't feel doable, then maybe it's take three deep breaths. Okay. I think I can do that. Right. I'm talking about the simplest of things, because these are the foundations for building a robust, nervous system is learning to care for ourselves and give us what we need. So maybe it's like, you're feeling like you're about to jump outta your skin and you need to go to the bathroom and do 15 jumping jacks, or you need to shake it off, whatever it might be. Right. I know for me, I get so mad sometimes when I get triggered that's my first response is like rage. And I know that that's about myself. So I'm like, okay, I'm gonna go into the bedroom. I'm gonna punch the pillow a little bit. I'm just gonna like, make some noise, take some deep breaths and just kind of let that run through my system so I can be in a more regulated state and this doesn't work for everyone.
Amanda Testa (23:18):
Right? Because sometimes that's just gonna make you more aggravated. You have to know for yourself, what works for you for me, I know that it's just a wave and I need to ride it and it will calm down. So knowing that I've done a lot of work, I know what I can hold. And what I can;t so do these things. When you know that you're capable of doing them. If you feel like going into the bathroom or going into the bedroom, punching the pillows is gonna unleash the flood gates, then that might not be the right thing for you in that moment. But maybe it is going to the bathroom and like taking five deep breaths or shaking or putting on a song and dancing, whatever it could be. So anyways, the point is going back to that way, to feel more supported and more resourced in yourself.
Amanda Testa (23:51):
So you can come to the table with more compassion and then you can be fair. And what you're asking for and your partner is more able to meet you and give you what you need. So it really does serve the whole relationship so much. And I think too, being able to talk to one another in a way that is supportive, we have often learned these skills, right? So one of my favorite books on this is called nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg. It's so good. You can get his book free on YouTube and listen to it. I mean, that is a great activity to do together. Maybe when you're driving in the car or just as a commitment to one of the goal. If one of the goals in your relationship is to have really good communication, which is an important thing in every relationship, just committing to listening to that together.
Amanda Testa (24:28):
Maybe it takes you a year to listen to it. And that is okay. Even if you're listening for like five or 10 minutes at a time, you're gonna get value from that and your family will get value from it. I mean, I can't even tell you, there's a lot of YouTube videos around using nonviolent communication for kids, which we often listen to with our daughter, because honestly, I think we can all sometimes use kid level education when, especially when we are triggered. So it can be really helpful to, to work with that. And one of the key parts of this is really getting to the root of what you need, as I've mentioned numerous times, because instead of blaming name calling, arguing, the keys of non violent communication are expressing how you are feeling, right. You express what you're experiencing with out name calling or criticizing, right?
Amanda Testa (25:09):
And then you just kind of notice what you observe, right? What you see, what you hear exactly how it is presenting, you know, right. Not your, not necessarily letting a story go there, but like really what you are observing that does not contribute to your wellbeing, or maybe it does. And so, you know, maybe it's a positive way that you wanna communicate something and then how you feel about it, right. How you feel in relationship to what you observe and then what you need or value, right. Rather than a preference or a specific action that causes, you know, more problems within this moment, but just like keeping it simple, what you need and then clearly requesting what you need without demanding. So kind giving a concrete example in this case. So how does this work? All right. I'm gonna go back to my example this morning of being upset about the dog.
Amanda Testa (25:55):
Right? So number one. Okay. First getting to kind of the root of what I was experiencing. I was feeling selfish, right? I was feeling it, my husband was being selfish and insensitive. So what I was observing was okay, when I see you lying in bed, ignoring the dog barking, I feel unvalued. So what I need is I need to feel supported. I value feeling supported. And so would you be willing to help out and take the dog out when the dog's barking in the morning? And it doesn't even have to necessarily be all the time. Right? <laugh>, it's just that one experience that I had. That's why I think sometimes that could be a good thing to note is like, okay, here's what I need. I could have asked much nicer and he would've been more willing to do it. Right. And so granted, these are all tools that take practice and time.
Amanda Testa (26:40):
And so honoring where you are and honoring how you can take part in creating change in your relationship. And I hope these resources have been supportive for you. The one thing I wanna close with, because I really do love this braving acronym from Brene brown. And so you've probably heard this before, if you're a fan of hers, but it's really around her research in building trust, which I think is such a key component in relationships. Not only with someone else, but also with yourself, right? Because our relationship with ourself is a huge part of how we show up to other relationships. And so basically the acronym braving it breaks down trust into seven different elements. So number one, B: boundaries setting boundaries is making clear what's okay and what's not okay. And why, and this can be such a challenging thing for women. Oh my goodness. I mean, I work a lot with clients on boundaries because it can be such a hard thing because we have been so raised to please and to be, you know, helpful and to serve others, which is a beautiful part of being a woman, but also understanding what your boundaries need to be so that you can feel nourished in all that you provide.
Amanda Testa (27:46):
Right. So setting boundaries because then, you know, okay, what's okay and what's not okay. I know for myself, so many of my resentments lie in places, I haven't set a boundary. Okay. Number two R: reliability. Reliability is you do what you'll say you'll do. So at work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations. So you don't over promise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities. I feel like this also is similar in your personal life, doing what you say you'll do. And if it's not doable, communicating that in a timely matter, A accountability being accountable, you own your own mistakes, apologize and make amends. So this is part of it, right this morning when I was being an asshole to my husband about not taking the dog out, I did, I apologized. And I took accountability for what I did wrong there and did what I needed to do to, you know, repair. That repair piece is so big. V; Vault The fault you don't share information or experiences that are not yours to share.
Amanda Testa (28:37):
I need to know my confidences are kept. And that you're not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential either. Right? So gossiping, it falls into this. And I think the other thing two is when I view this in relationships, I, this is part of what I feel is the vault is when you share something in a vulnerable way with your partner, as that, they never ever throw that back out at you in an argument, right? When you share something, from a place of vulnerability that is put in the vault and you don't bring that back out to cause harm at a later date, very important. In my opinion. I: integrity, choosing courage over comfort, choosing what's right over, what's fun, fast or easy, and practicing your values, not just professing them. This integrity piece is so big and it can be so easy to do small things that compromise that as I talked about before, right?
Amanda Testa (29:21):
When you are noticing something in your partner and you okay for, for this example similar to what I talked about last week, but okay. Say you've had a really long day. You're so tired. You finally kick back on the couch with a good book. And you're so excited to just chill and read. And then you notice your partner walking by and they look sad. So option a is you just continue reading and pretend like you didn't notice, and option. B is pausing and looking up at them and say, Hey babe, you look sad. Would you like to sit and talk with me, right? That is choosing courage over comfort. That's practicing your values. If your value is connection. And one of my values is connection with my partner. So if they seem troubled I want to connect and offer support and vice versa, right N: non-judgment, I can ask for what I need.
Amanda Testa (30:06):
And you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment. That is a very challenging thing to learn sometimes, but it is so important to not judge assume always never. Those kind of words are never good in conversations and keeping things in the present moment, not bringing up experiences from the past, not bringing up old stories again and again, but staying in the present generosity, G generosity extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others. So that can be such a compassionate way to view things, right? So maybe instead of, if you're partner, doesn't text you back instead of thinking, oh, theyy are the most selfish inconsiderate person, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Saying, huh? Perhaps they're just really busy and they couldn't jump out to call me, perhaps they're in the middle of a big meeting and they are focused and they aren't looking at their texts or maybe they put their phone away.
Amanda Testa (30:53):
So they could focus on a project and they just lost track of time. Right. Having a generous interpretation to the intentions, words and actions of others. So these, these braving in inventory, you can kind of look at that, right? You can use this, a conversation guide with your partner or, you know, even with yourself, like, what do I need here? Where could I improve? Where could we improve as a couple? What are we really good at? And this really helps to build trust between people. And it's such a powerful thing and I know that's a lot. So maybe just take a breath, give yourself a little wiggle, whatever feels good. But I really, you know, wanted to share that because I feel like these are all such great tools. And sometimes though you just really need a third party support. And so if that's coming up for you and you're wanting some more support in this area, you can reach out to me.
Amanda Testa (31:35):
You can go to Amandatesta.com/activate, and we can schedule a confidential heart to heart because I am currently have a couple spots left for my one-on-one coaching this year. And so now is the time if you feel like you want support, because there really is no better time than the present. My husband has a joke that I love it is when is the best time to plant a tree. And what is the answer 20 years ago? When is the next best time today? Right? So if you wanna make changes, if you want support, I'm here for you. And I hope these resources in this episode are valuable. I'll share it all in the podcast show notes. So you can make sure to find that at Amanda test.com/podcast. And please, if this is, if this is a podcast that you enjoy, I would love If you would share it with your friends. I am so excited because I'm coming up on 200 episodes. We are almost at 200 episodes, cannot even believe it. It's been so such an amazing journey, incredible conversations. And I have had the opportunity to interview so many just out of this world people. And so I hope you have found value here. And if you do enjoy it, please share subscribe, like all the things and wishing you a beautiful, beautiful day, week, evening, night, wherever you are sending you so muc love talk to you next week.
Amanda Testa (32:47):
Thank you so much for listening to the find your feminine fire podcast. This is your host Amanda test. And if you have felt a calling while listening to this podcast to take this work to a deeper level, this is golden invitation. I invite you to reach out. You can contact me at Amandatesta.com/activate, and we can have a heart to heart to discuss more about how this work can transform your life. You can also join us on Facebook and be group finder, feminine fire group. And if you've enjoy this podcast, please share with your friends, go to iTunes and give me a five star rating and a raving review. So I can connect with other amazing listeners like yourself. Thank you so much for being a part of the community.