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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Couples and Premarital: Personal Weather Report (TM)

Uploaded: Nov 27, 2020
Your partner can not read your mind, and my husband can not read mine, either. You actually have to say what's on your mind. One homework exercise I like to give is to have couples give each other a Personal Weather Report (TM) once or twice a day. This is also helpful in finding specific and/or nuanced feelings, and of getting into a habit of sharing your feelings with one another without judgement, fixing, or reacting.

When you read the instructions, you might think, "This is so cheesy," or "This is forced," or "I would feel so awkward," or many other responses. I just ask that you try it with a good heart for three weeks and see if it's useful. If it is, keep it up. If it's not, discard it.

Some people don't know what they are feeling, or can't find the word in the moment. For those of you who want it, further down the page is a list of feeling words from the Center for Nonviolent Communication for your use. You may also share a body-based feeling such as: "Tightness in my jaw" or "A knot in my my stomach."

The exercise is to share three feeling words with each other in the following manner:

Partner #1: I am feeling __________ (e.g., hopeful).

Partner #2: You're feeling hopeful.

Partner #2: I am feeling ___________ (e.g., annoyed).

Partner #1: You're feeling annoyed.

Partner #1: I am feeling __________ (e.g., unsettled).

Partner #2: You're feeling unsettled.

Partner #2: I am feeling ___________ (e.g., a lump in my throat).

Partner #1: You're feeling a lump in your throat.

Partner #1: I am feeling __________ (e.g., excited).

Partner #2: You're feeling excited.

Partner #2: I am feeling ___________ (e.g., curious).

Partner #1: You're feeling curious.

Please lose these words: "Fine, good, okay," as they are vague. Dig deeper.

Please notice that the response to your partner is to just give attunement -- to name their feeling (as opposed to responding, reacting, getting defensive, explaining, distracting, looking at your phone, etc.).

Notice how you feel right now, after hearing your partner's Personal Weather Report (TM). Did you know that he or she was feeling these ways? How do you feel now that you've listened and shared your feelings? If this is all the time you have right now, thank each other and go about your day.

Make time to ask your partner about his or her feelings. For example, you might say, "Tell me more about feeling hopeful, unsettled and excited." Listen really well (vs. waiting for your turn to talk) and then reflect back a summary of what you heard. Ask follow on questions.

The idea is to keep opening the conversation further (vs. saying things that close or end the conversation).

I'll be curious to hear how this goes, what you learn about yourself and your partner, and so on. While a Personal Weather Report is simple, it may not be easy. As human beings, we often get defensive. If you do, just breathe through the wave of defensiveness rising, pausing, and coming back down before opening your mouth.

FEELINGS LIST

"The following are words we use when we want to express a combination of emotional states and physical sensations. This list is neither exhaustive nor definitive. It is meant as a starting place to support anyone who wishes to engage in a process of deepening self-discovery and to facilitate greater understanding and connection between people.

There are two parts to this list: feelings we may have when our needs are being met and feelings we may have when our needs are not being met.

Feelings when your needs are satisfied

AFFECTIONATE
compassionate
friendly
loving
open hearted
sympathetic
tender
warm

ENGAGED
absorbed
alert
curious
engrossed
enchanted
entranced
fascinated
interested
intrigued
involved
spellbound
stimulated

HOPEFUL
expectant
encouraged
optimistic

CONFIDENT
empowered
open
proud
safe
secure

EXCITED
amazed
animated
ardent
aroused
astonished
dazzled
eager
energetic
enthusiastic
giddy
invigorated
lively
passionate
surprised
vibrant

GRATEFUL
appreciative
moved
thankful
touched

INSPIRED
amazed
awed
wonder

JOYFUL
amused
delighted
glad
happy
jubilant
pleased
tickled

EXHILARATED
blissful
ecstatic
elated
enthralled
exuberant
radiant
rapturous
thrilled

PEACEFUL
calm
clear headed
comfortable
centered
content
equanimous
fulfilled
mellow
quiet
relaxed
relieved
satisfied
serene
still
tranquil
trusting

REFRESHED
enlivened
rejuvenated
renewed
rested
restored
revived

Feelings when your needs are not satisfied

AFRAID
apprehensive
dread
foreboding
frightened
mistrustful
panicked
petrified
scared
suspicious
terrified
wary
worried

ANNOYED
aggravated
dismayed
disgruntled
displeased
exasperated
frustrated
impatient
irritated
irked

ANGRY
enraged
furious
incensed
indignant
irate
livid
outraged
resentful

AVERSION
animosity
appalled
contempt
disgusted
dislike
hate
horrified
hostile
repulsed

CONFUSED
ambivalent
baffled
bewildered
dazed
hesitant
lost
mystified
perplexed
puzzled
torn

DISCONNECTED
alienated
aloof
apathetic
bored
cold
detached
distant
distracted
indifferent
numb
removed
uninterested
withdrawn

DISQUIET
agitated
alarmed
discombobulated
disconcerted
disturbed
perturbed
rattled
restless
shocked
startled
surprised
troubled
turbulent
turmoil
uncomfortable
uneasy
unnerved
unsettled
upset

EMBARRASSED
ashamed
chagrined
flustered
guilty
mortified
self-conscious

FATIGUE
beat
burnt out
depleted
exhausted
lethargic
listless
sleepy
tired
weary
worn out

PAIN
agony
anguished
bereaved
devastated
grief
heartbroken
hurt
lonely
miserable
regretful
remorseful

SAD
depressed
dejected
despair
despondent
disappointed
discouraged
disheartened
forlorn
gloomy
heavy hearted
hopeless
melancholy
unhappy
wretched

TENSE
anxious
cranky
distressed
distraught
edgy
fidgety
frazzled
irritable
jittery
nervous
overwhelmed
restless
stressed out

VULNERABLE
fragile
guarded
helpless
insecure
leery
reserved
sensitive
shaky

YEARNING
envious
jealous
longing
nostalgic
pining
wistful"

(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication
Website: www.cnvc.org Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1.505.244.4041
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

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