On our website under the Secure Connector area of the Love Styles page, we have a link to a list of traits a secure connector would possess (click here). For any attachment injury these are your goals. You can rate yourself to see how proficient you are at the abilities a secure connector possesses. We can all find some area to improve. For the weeks ahead we will look at each of these traits and explain why this is an important relationship skill. If you really want to be courageous ask your spouse, teenager or friend to rate you.
As we work toward a secure attachment we will be able to rate ourselves higher (more strongly agree) in the following areas. Here are the next three traits.
Rate 1-5: #1 = No/rarely. #5 = Most often/always.
- I can list eight feelings I experience on a regular basis.
- I can identify and articulate these feelings with my spouse and kids.
- I use my feelings to identify my needs and am able to communicate my needs and ask directly for what I need rather than hoping someone will guess correctly.
These skills involve self awareness and the ability to self reflect about what our emotions are signaling. Feelings link to needs. If you don’t know what you feel you won’t know what you need. After we understand our internal experience we need to be able to communicate it to others. Anxiety and depression often mask other emotions and the soul words list can help us determine what feelings might be underneath. Even if you are not sure what you need try to communicate about your feelings.
Why eight feelings? No magic numbers here; I want to see if you have a wide range of emotion or only experience one or two feelings. Some of us prefer to be sad but don’t get mad. Others get mad but have difficulty crying. God has all sorts of emotions and we are made in his image. Having a full range of emotions is like living in color verses black and white.
Avoiders don’t have a clue what they are feeling and believe asking for something shows weakness. Pleasers can tell you what every one else feels but they don’t have a clue what they feel or want apart from others. Vacillators can tell you about anger but often do not communicate more vulnerable feelings. They hope others will just guess and know what they feel and need. Controllers never share tender feelings as their anger is a defense against vulnerability in general. Victims are aware of anger in others and try to avoid it. Victims feel unworthy and hopeless. Often it is unsafe to share their feelings and needs. Safety is always the first goal for the victim. Each of these styles needs to grow in their self awareness, self reflection and ability to communicate about feelings and needs.
Prayer: Lord you made me with feelings and needs. Expand my range of emotions and teach me to know myself like you know me. Give me insight to communicate more directly and clearly.