One of the most common ways that we give up our power and contribute to the escalation of conflict in our relationships is when we blame. Anytime we remain focused on our partner’s behavior, we abandon our possibility for control and change since we are the only one we are capable of changing. If you are tired of feeling powerless in your relationship and are ready to take accountability for real change, here are five tips for staying empowered during conflict.
1. Breathe. The breath is your most powerful antidote to stressful feelings. Close your eyes and intentionally inhale and exhale, allowing yourself to return home to your highest self within.
2. Identify feelings. Ask yourself, what am I feeling? Then name and communicate the feelings that come up. We have a lot of feeling words and yet there are only four core feelings and then varying degrees of their experience…happy, sad, mad, scared. Which resonates with you?
3. Start with “I”. Empowerment means staying at home inside YOURself. You cannot be present with your power when you are outside of yourself talking about “you” and “them” and “her” and “him”. Watch your language. Mindfully begin your sentences with “I” (this includes internal and external dialogue) and ensure that you are owning each feeling, need, thought, and behavior that you may be having in reaction to your partner.
4. Identify needs. Now that you have identified your feelings and claimed them, what do you need? If you are sad, do you need comfort? If you are mad, do you need understanding? If you are scared, do you need reassurance? Once you identify your need, decide how YOU can clearly communicate it. Ultimately though, you need to remember that your needs are your job to meet. Too often, we wait for others to give us what we need…when we can comfort, understand, and reassure ourselves, we take our power back and connect with others out of want versus need—that, my friends is true love!
5. Take ownership of your part. Blaming others, is the single most disempowered position we put ourselves in. Simply put, STOP BLAMING. Others are responsible for THEIR thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and YOU are solely responsible for how YOU react to what you witness and experience with others.
When you breathe, identify your feelings and needs and speak from “I”, you take ownership of yourself and walk through the doorway of freedom…welcome to your empowered life!