This week I want to share a tip that may be helpful if you don’t have many folks to go to in your community about your relationships. This approach may be helpful whether you’d like to show up differently with friends, partners, or family. I was posting about this suggestion as I find it to be super helpful and I want to share it outside of the therapeutic walls in case it’s helpful for you too!
So you know about the “pursuer dynamic” right? Basically one person is over there pursuing and another is not. Well in Getting the Love You Want authors and experts of Imago Therapy discuss how often times someone in a partnership may sort of get quiet or withdraw during tension while another may get big with their feelings. Hey, as someone with big feelings I want to know all the tips on how not to scare away friends or other loved ones when I want to connect. When someone needs that quiet time, Imago encourages us to honor that.
It sounds easier said than done. However, if we can say something like, “Take a beat, I’ll be here when you’re ready.” We aren’t abandoning or rejecting the one who sort of “turtles” under tension. We also aren’t overwhelming them or their nervous system while they do their thing. We also aren’t abandoning our own needs because we’re essentially there when they’re ready to return in like five or ten minutes. We are able to then get our needs met by talking it out in a way that feels less intense for all and no one is abandoned. Now if there’s lots of this or people don’t come back to talk you may benefit from getting another party involved through relationship therapy.
Unfortunately, Queer folks don’t always feel comfortable or safe going to family or their communities for support around this stuff. Hey, even amazing relationship therapies like Imago Therapy started with rejecting Lesbian and Gay people from their trainings and teachings! If even therapists and healers couldn’t initially access these supports then we know Queer folks have less easy access to relationship-ing in different and healthier ways than straight, cisgender folks who aren’t Queer, but want to approach their relationships differently.
I’m hoping that Queer folks out there can now access support in safe therapeutic relationships, friendships, and communities where they can show up as their best selves in relationship with themselves and others. Thanks folks and let me know if you want more out of me about this next week.