The first step is always Identify, or identifying (that is the "I") the main emotion being triggered. For you, internally in the example you are going to lose 25 pounds; you are 4–5 weeks into your commitment and one-third of the way to your weight loss goal when you notice your partner is beginning to pull back whenever you bring up with subject of your goal regarding weight loss or your partner's responses during these discussions are short, "snarky" and tinged with a "whatever" attitude.
This is your sign that you need to increase your communication with your partner. With these types of interactions there will be a dual emotional triggers occurring: one with you and one with your partner. You need to identify which emotion is being triggered for you, and you need to try to identify one or two emotions that potentially are being triggered for your partner such as doubt, worry, resentment or discouragement. Remember you can't identify for your partner, but you need to be able to have an understanding before talking to him/her about what might be going on emotionally with all your changes.
In this example we’ll use the emotion of fear as what's being triggered. Your fear may be about making right versus wrong decisions. Your partner's “worry” may be that he/she is not worthy of you anymore or is being left behind; alternately, your partner's “resentment” might be that how is it you have the time to take care of yourself and he/she doesn’t.
The next step in I.C.E™ methodology is Connect, or connecting (the "C") the emotion you identified (in this example, fear for you) with the core value being challenged. For example's purposes, let’s make the connection that your fear is challenging your self-worth. Your self-worth might be all of sudden your increasing your self-value, resulting in better decisions that prioritize yourself first. As a result, these decisions are empowering you to choose better foods, get to the gym, etc. The reason you see results is because these decisions are in alignment with your core value, which ultimately reinforces your self-worth and value of self.
Meanwhile your partner, the trigger of resentment can challenge their self-worth as well. They are beginning to question their own self-worth since they are not prioritizing themselves or making decisions that support their worth or value, which creates a negative flow of thoughts and decision-making from a place of fear. As a result, the passive-aggressive tendencies may become more obvious.
Now you’ve made the connection for yourself that your emotion being triggered is fear and your core value being challenged is self-worth; you’ve explored that the potential emotion for your partner is resentment and that his/her core-value being challenged may be self-worth.
The final step in the I.C.E. ™ methodology is to execute (the “E”) an action to make a correction or adjustment. Remember, this is all about communication, so your action is going to be one of enhancing communication with your partner while also enhancing the relationship you have with yourself. The obvious action is to step out of your comfort zone and opening up a discussion with your partner that addresses his/her importance and worth while also honoring your own worth.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.
To your success!
Coach Karen K
Life Coach and Business Coach Karen Kleinwort is the founder Therapy in Transition and is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in the integration of her clients' mind, body and spirit into her Personal Empowerment Coaching practice. For more information, visit www.coachkarenk.com, www.therapyintransition.org or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.