How sensitive is your partner to your feelings? Can he/she even identify or understand your emotions? Some people have a difficult time sensing, relating, experiencing and expressing emotions. They either find emotions to be of little value or they believe there is weakness in sharing their feelings. They are convinced that emotions have little purpose in relationships and only complicate or confuse the situation. In fact, the more emotional their partner is, the more logical/rational they become in an effort to balance the interaction. The couple quickly becomes polarized and disconnected. Likewise, when your partner discounts or ignores your feelings it only intensifies your response. Conversely, compassion allows us to identify and relate to each other’s suffering or negative emotion and shows a desire to understand and/or support the other person. We can be compassionate without taking responsibility for fixing or solving other’s problems which would be codependency.
Unfortunately, couples sometimes lose their level of compassion over time or in some cases, never had much from the onset. Some lack the ability to express empathy or be sensitive to the feelings of others while others purposefully avoid this type of connection. Showing compassion communicates caring and love along with a desire to understand and relate to what the other person is feeling. When we experience and express feelings of compassion it deepens our connection and strengthens the level of intimacy in the relationship. Emotions connect people and allows for increased vulnerability which intensifies the relationship. So how does one increase compassion?
For starters, work on validating each other’s feelings by acknowledging emotions. Attempting to relate and identify with feelings can also create compassion. When we validate others’ feelings we are communicating that their emotions matter to us and have importance. Respecting and accepting another’s feelings even when we can’t completely understand or agree with their emotional response can be a powerful expression of compassion. We all want to be heard and valued and being compassionate and sensitive will create a greater level of connection. Finding out the needs of your partner and making an effort to meet those needs can also create a greater connection. Letting go of conflicts and being able to forgive will also increase the level of compassion in the relationship. Challenge yourself to be more compassionate with the people you love and witness the positive changes.