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November 6, 2021

A 7-Sentence Guide to Building Trust & Connection in our Relationship.

 

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Last weekend, I had a minor emotional meltdown.

Nothing major had happened. Nothing tragic.

Everything just felt like “too much.”

I wanted to sleep but I wanted to get my body moving and start the day.

I wanted to be out in the world but I also desperately wanted to rest.

I wanted company but also didn’t want to be needed by anyone.

So there I was, 10 minutes after waking up, crying—sobbing, actually—in bed with no idea why.

And when my boyfriend asked me what was wrong, all I could say between gasps was, “I don’t know. I’m just stressed.”

I could see him trying to “fix” it, trying to make things better, trying to find a way to knock me out of my slump. But I could also tell that he had no clue why I was in such a weird, emotional place. And in the absence of answers from me, he was grasping for some way to help.

I felt bad for him because I could see that he was trying. He wanted to do something, say something that could bring me back. That could take my stress away. Or at least get me to stop crying so damn much.

But I was where I was. And at a certain point, he stopped asking questions and just sat with me. Not doing or saying anything. He was just present—and somehow, that was enough.

It wasn’t revolutionary, but it was the support I needed in that moment. It was having company without needing to explain myself or feel better or put on a happy face.

A few days later, I came across this post from licensed therapist and author John Kim, also known as The Angry Therapist, and I realized how major these small moments truly are in any relationship:

 

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When your partner (or friend, or sibling, or parent) is hurting, when they’re struggling with stress and overwhelm and emotional pain, when they have no explanation for why they’re feeling what they’re feeling, when they’re sitting next to you sad and sobbing, they don’t always need questions—or answers.

They need you to be there, with them, in whatever capacity they’re able to handle. They need you to make space in your life for where they’re at in their life.

This is how you build each other up. This is how you build trust. This is how you build connection.

~

 

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