PART 3: RELATIONSHIP MINDFULNESS: THE WHAT’S AND HOW’S

Relationship mindfulness is a reflective practice that involves awareness of self in the context of other. The goal of relationship mindfulness is to slow down the process of interaction between you and your partner by taking time to “just notice”, i.e. observe and describe your experience, that of your partner’s and how both experiences transact and influence one another. In doing so, we are able to act and react more skillfully, with heightened awareness as to what is effective given our long term relationship goals.

Relationship mindfulness involves paying close attention to your experience:

  • What am I feeling?

  • What am I sensing?

  • What am I thinking? (Content and/or style)

  • What do I feel an urge to say or do?

  • What do I desire or want from my partner?

  • What am I avoiding or resisting experiencing with regard to my partner?

Relationship mindfulness involves paying close attention to your partner’s experience:

  • What is my partner saying/doing?

  • How does my partner appear physically? Observe and describe their body posture, positon and movements, facial expression, speech volume, tone, rate and rhythm.

  • What might my partner be feeling?

  • What might my partner be thinking? (Content and/or style)

  • What might my partner desire or want from me?

  • What might my partner be avoiding or resisting experiencing with regard to me?

Relationship mindfulness involves paying close attention to how you and your partner’s experiences transact:

  • What is the situation we are in? (Observe and describe the context of you and your partner’s interaction)

  • How does my partner react when I say/do x-y-z?

  • How do I react when my partner says/does x-y-z?

  • Would I react this way with another person if they said/did x-y-z? If not, what makes my response different with my partner?

  • What do I and my partner bring to this interaction from our past? (Based on our history together and from our past experiences as individuals)

  • Is the interaction my partner and I are having consistent with our long term relationship goals? Is our interaction hurtful or harmful? If harmful, what is the effective thing for me/us to do in this moment?

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