By Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta
All communication has two dimensions to it, process and content. The process component is more important than the content portion. If your process is good you will be able to talk about any topic effectively. Good process relies on two specific ways of talking and listening to one another: self disclosing and being a good sounding board. These two skillsare the heart and soul of staying emotionally in sync. They will carry your relationship safely through difficult times. They come from the soul mate in you, not your insecure ego.
Self disclosing happens when you talk about your inner state of being, when you reveal thoughts and feelings that make you more transparent, more fully known to your partner. When you self disclose it’s like saying to your partner, “Here I am—the real me. I trust you and feel safe with you.” Gone is the effort to filter what you say in order to please, appear acceptable, and avoid being judged in one way or another.
When you reveal a current worry, or a painful memory, a cherished desire, or a sense of guilt or shame that you carry, you create the possibility of a soul mate connection. The same is true when you include your partner in positive moments of optimistic good feelings. In either case, sharing yourself in this way means taking a risk. You are more vulnerable when self disclosing because you are trusting that your partners response will be sensitive and supporting. But without this risk you are stuck beingroommates. Here’s an example of what it looks like to commune together.