By Chandrama Anderson
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.
"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
Feelings when your needs are not satisfied
(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication
Website: www.cnvc.org Email: [email protected]