We learn how to communicate and create relationships when we’re kids – usually based on how other family members treated us. And if we never learned how to communicate to create closeness and intimacy then our strong desire for that can go unfulfilled. In this video I offer specific tips on creating closeness with partners, lovers and family:

There was a time in my life when I was with a partner and after the initial attraction wore off – the relationship kind of floundered. We grew disconnected from one another.

We talked – but now as I look back as a teacher of emotions – we didn’t talk about the right things. Right things being those things that are important to us … those things that stir your soul for better or worse. As in something that really excites you or revolts you.

So I use to mistake “connecting” for just rattling off a laundry list of what I did during the day… then I did this, and then I did that. And my partner would do that same thing. But there’s no depth in this, there’s no bonding material. No connection. We want to share our heart with another person. So how do you connect? How do you create intimacy that creates enduring love?

Well, here’s how it happens: you share what’s in your heart. What’s really excited you or touched you during your day – or really turned you off. AND most important: why? So for example, say it’s been a long day and I’m sharing with my partner about how my day went. Soooo, I could say, “I had a lunch meeting, I went to the grocery store, I paid the bills”. That’s just rattling off the laundry list.
But if I look at my day, and am really in touch and aware of how I’m feeling – and this is where the skill comes – then I have some really precious things to share with my partner. And they might be small but VERY MEANINGFUL things. For Example, and I’m riffing here … someone might have gone out of their way to show a kindness toward me. Totally unexpected and I was touched by their generosity of spirit.

And you share that meaningful little story with your partner. But this is based on being present to what is going on around you so you can appreciate, in real time, what is meaningful to you. And when you share that – and maybe it was something that really pissed you off because it brought up an injustice that was done to you at some earlier point in your life. Being able to share that with a person close to you allows them to get to know what’s in your heart. And when you know what’s in my heart and I know what’s in your heart, it’s a very bonding experience.

Let’s extend that to your family of origin – those you grew up with. If you go to a family gathering – and there are often lots of them this time of year – maybe you’re become tired of all the meaningless chit-chat, the moaning and groaning, the vapid talk that goes in circles.

And if you want to try something new, try this:

When sitting down with that relative or family friend, shake it up. Shake it up by asking two questions:

• What is your fondest desire and why?

• What keeps you up at night?

Now you may totally confound the person but you will make them stop and think. And a very meaningful conversation might emerge! You might learn something about a family member that you never knew.

Importantly, those very same questions could likely be turned on you. This is a good thing as you’ll have to reach deep into your heart to answer.

Do you think this is something you might try? With a family member? With your partner?

Scroll down and leave a comment for me. Let me know what’s on your mind.