How often in your relationship have you heard "you're being selfish and you're not thinking about us!"
In a relationship it's important to understand and honor that we are both individuals while also committed to a partnership. Balancing the individual and partnership can be difficult. Not impossible! Therefore, it's important to talk about ME|WE|US.
ME|WE|US is a way to conceptualize how to honor and balance both the individual and the relationship in a partnership. To do that, it takes time to build self-awareness. Included is an explanation and series of thinking/processing prompts as you begin to build an understanding about how to honor and balance ME|WE|US in your relationship.
Please note, thinking/processing through these takes time. Some you might hold an awareness around while others you may have never actively thought about. Therefore, give yourself permission to take time to explore these. Then, when you have an understanding and/or insight - share with your partner.
The objective, from the prompts, is to build self-awareness (ME) around some common beliefs/behaviors that would/could be valuable to share with your partner. (My Language - My Truth)
When/if you share (Translate/Language) that information to/with your partner you are offering the opportunity for your partner to build awareness, understanding, and knowledge around how they can accommodate and support you. (WE)
By doing this, over time, you are enabling each other to learn/understand your language around some of these common beliefs/behaviors. (Bi-lingual)
Together, you can come to a mutual understanding around how you both want to show up in the relationship. (Mission Statement) The mission statement is your "purpose" or the "why" we are doing this? That mutual understanding around how you both want to show up is what holds you both accountable to the relationship. (US)
Eventually, by building self-awareness (ME), sharing/translating (WE), and showing up for one another based on your mission statement (US). You are creating a safe environment for both of you and building some solid communication skills...
How Do I.....(ME)
- Respond to conflict/disagreements/triggers?
- Express my limits when I"ve had too much and exceeded my capacity for the moment/situation?
- Apologize or take responsibility for my behavior?
- Forgive others for their actions?
- Use my strengths and superpowers to my advantage?
- Give in to the temptation of my own personal "junk food" habits/behaviors?
- Take care of myself? Recover? I.e., Self-Care
- Set boundaries? For myself, others, professionally, w/ the kids...
- Build confidence in myself?
- Trust myself? Others?
- Judge others when they make mistakes?
- Connect with others physically, emotionally, and mentally?
- Grieve the loss of a job, a mistake, a close friend/family member, etc.
- Recover from a challenging moment/situation/day? (Physically, Mentally, or Emotionally)
- Share my emotions? Am I a Tsunami? a Wave? an Island? or Desert?
- Transition from one activity to another? From work to home?
How Does My Partner...(WE)
- As you identify and/or understand one or some of the prompts from above then think about/discuss what you know or don't know about how your partner would respond to these prompts.
- Take the opportunity to translate what these beliefs/behaviors look and feel like and how your partner can be empowered by understanding them and eventually learning how to support/navigate them in a healthy and productive manner.
How Do I/We Want to Show Up...(US)
- As you both begin to understand your "self" and translate that information to/with your partner, you will also want to share with your partner how you want to show up as an individual as well as how you want to show up for each other collectively in the relationship.
- Examples may include something such as "I want to show up as..."
- The intent is to not create an expectation to be perfect, rather you are being explicit with yourself and your partner around how you want to show up when tension/conflict arise.
- The spirit of sharing how you want to show up is to influence how "feedback" or "comments" are shared. Hold me accountable for what I want to be vs. criticize, label, or blame me for the things I can't/don't do.
Finally, be curious to understand where these work in your relationship and where they don't work. Be curious what/how your partner can accommodate you and what/how you could accomodate your partner.
Be open and committed to the "practice" of yourself and your relationship.