I’d like to share with you an amazing communication tool I use once a week with my partner. It can also be used on your own as a journalling exercise as well because as we know our relationship with ourselves is fundamental so please do try that as well if you fancy it.
Anyway, today, it’s about our primary relationship. If you are anything like me then once children are in our lives it can feel super challenging to have time with our partners to talk about what’s going on for us, what’s challenging us right now and even just to share some of our longings and desires for the future.
So this is where the Daily Temperature Reading developed by a family psychotherapist called Virginia Satir comes in. For me it ticks all the boxes: quick, effective and nourishing.
Here’s how it works:
- Diarise a time with your partner where you can have at least 15 minutes uninterrupted time
- Get comfortable and have some physical contact with each other
- You are going to work your way through each section listed below so for example you will list your appreciations for the other and then they will list theirs and then you will move onto the next section and so on
- When you are not speaking your role is to listen, to be a container – this is not a conversation,
- See specific details for each section below
Daily Temperature Reading
List five appreciations (it can be anything at all) you have for your partner.
The person receiving the appreciation can say thank you afterwards but nothing else please.
Here you get to tell your partner anything new you’d like to tell them that’s going on for you that they don’t know.
The other person receives the information and doesn’t respond.
For this section you can ask your partner a question regarding something that is puzzling you about them. Here the other person can respond if they would like, and they also have the option not to. Again, don’t get into a conversation here.
Complaint with a Recommendation
For this section use the following structure to keep the communication as clear as possible. It’s also a good idea with this one to pick something that doesn’t still have a really big charge for you. Essentially don’t choose something you are really furious about. The ideal is is that you have already vented about this particular subject to someones else first.
Here’s how it might look:
When you ….I feel…… I’d really like it if next time you….
Be really specific and with this one it’s a good idea to practice what you are going to say on your own first. The other person receives the complaint with recommendation and does not respond.
Hopes, Dreams and Wishes
This is where you get to speak out loud all your desires for your life, your life together, your family, the world! Really revel in the joy fo this one.
So there you have it. I love it and I wouldn’t be without it.
Let me know if you give it a whirl.