Relationship Minute: Emotion Coaching at every age

What do you feel when you think about emotions?

It might be avoidance, revulsion, discomfort, longing, enthusiasm, confusion, some combination or none of the above.

Meta-emotions or, “how you feel about feelings,” are often a result of what your caregiver(s) taught you, intentionally or unintentionally. But your meta-emotions have lasting effects on your adult relationships.

So when we say that Emotion Coaching is for every age, we mean it.

The five steps of Emotion Coaching can also apply in your relationship:

1. Be aware of emotions (your own and your partner’s).
2. Recognize an expression of emotion as an opportunity for connection.
3. Listen with empathy and validate your partner’s feelings.
4. Label emotions with words.
5. Set limits (“It’s okay that you are angry but it is not okay to yell at me.” “I need 20 minutes to cool down.”)

How do you feel about emotions? Are there some emotions that are less comfortable than others? Do you always know what you’re feeling as you feel it or do you need time to process? What were you taught about emotions growing up? 

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.