"I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY DAY!"
"I hate my job! I hate my life!"
Many people feel like they hate their job, and will say, when asked to participate in "Sharing Your Day": "I hate my job! The last thing I want to do when I get home is talk about it!" and go off for a drink and TV, or some other diversion, something that helps them avoid talking about their day.
I think it is obvious that this is a big problem, not only in terms of increasing intimacy, but also in terms of the health and happiness of that person, as well as the relationship.
If a person is that unhappy in their job, then something needs to be done about it. And perhaps the first step on that path is to begin talking, begin "Sharing Your Day" with their partner. Through talking, without interruption or judgment, something new can happen, a new possible action step arise.
Talking without being interrupted allows automatic access to The Creative Edge, the "intuitive feel" from which new possibilities can arise. So, painful though it may seem, the first step to a new, happier life can be the simple "Sharing Your Day."
Re-evaluation Co-Counseling: Just Telling Your Story Is Healing
In a form of peer counseling called Reevaluation Co-Counseling (click this link to find lots of information on actually trying out "RC" http://www.rc.org/), the main "intervention"is simply "Warm, caring, non-judgmental attention." The two people sit close enough so that they can hold hands. The Listener simply looks into the Speaker's eyes with "warm, caring, non-judgmental attention." Each person took an equal turn as Speaker and Listener, anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour turns.
The Speaker starts with their earliest memories and just tells the story of their life, looking into the Listener's eyes. As they tell their memories, the Speaker welcomes and allows any manifestation of emotion or tension discharge. In the founder, Harvey Jackin's, list of forms of discharge, are shaking as a discharge of fear, laughing as a discharge of light fear (embarrassment, shame), yawning as a discharge of boredom, crying as a discharge of hurt and pain. For the first several months (or perhaps the first year?!), this is all that was done. The Speaker tells their memories over and over, as long as more emotions are being discharged. New memories arise and are healed through emotional discharge. Listeners eventually also learn other "interventions" to help Speakers get out of stuck patterns and into emotional discharge, but "warm, caring, non-judgmental attention" is the main one.
See if you can start "Sharing Your Day." Nonjudgmental listening, no interruptions is key! If you and your partner want to add holding hands and looking into each others' eyes, give it a try. Read up on RC at http://www.rc.org and try out these simple peer counseling skills.
If either partner's pain is so great that "Sharing Your Day" is absolutely not possible, then professional help can be sought. Click here to read about Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT). Visit The Focusing Institute under Learning Focusing to find both FOTs and Focusing Teachers who can help you get started in the geographical search section under Learning Focusing.
"How Do I Find A Life Partner?"
In the original Changes group, any person could have a "team" of Listening/Focusing peer helpers to help them solve a difficult life problem or write a book, whatever. I had a "team" to meet with me and plan how I was going to find a life-partner.
And we carried out the plan: with my team's support, I presented on Listening/Focusing at the Association For Humanistic Psychology in Chicago that year, and I also went to a presentation that Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing, was doing there. The idea: maximize the statistical probability of finding a Focusing-Oriented person to relate to. And, at the Gendlin presentation, I saw him. And, at my presentation, I met his friend. And ---eventually, I married him, even though he lived in Canada ---
So, I thought, "How about a Focusing Singles Network---- something like 'speed dating,' where you get to meet a lot of people, a few minutes each, but, of course, we could just use the Changes meeting format: Check In (introduction of self), then, perhaps, a Round Robin of short listening/focusing turns --- well, really, just Check -In might be sufficient?" , just each person saying a little by way of introduction.
Anyway, someone could organize it FOR A FEE or for fun and run it as a phone free conference call or locally...I know, it might sound crazy, but, really, finding a Focusing-Oriented significant other, when you are Introverted like many of us, can be really difficult ---- of course, this model could be developed locally, or regionally (would be ideal to have them in different languages, in different countries). Anyway, this is the seed of an idea.
Also, likely there might be a separate Focusing Gay Singles Network, or maybe address this issue in the introductions? I know for many gays it is difficult to somehow find out who in a group is also gay...a lot of difficult undercover work unless this is addressed directly somehow.
Lori Ketover is also starting to use a Focusing Support Group model to introduce small groups of people to each other by phone in order to find partners for Focusing Partnership through the Focusing Institute Focusing Partnership program --- just hearing someone's voice, seeing how they do listening/focusing, seems to really help some people match up. So, why not extend this idea to more conscious matching up of Focusing Singles?
Otherwise, my best advice to find a Focusing-oriented life-partner is to attend Focusing workshops, conferences, presentations, in your area and internationally, do presentations, participate on e-lists --- I started an interesting long-distance relationship when I met someone at a Focusing International in Chicago, and he lived in California, me in Oregon.
Although, I met my present life-partner through the persistent efforts of a friend who was a business professor --- and kept introducing me to business professors --- and I have taught him Listening/Focusing since we married.