Have you ever experienced a trauma in your relationships?
A trauma could include a betrayal of trust/cheating/painful breakup/unexpected death among other examples.
And when that happens, it can be really hard to open yourself up to trust another and be emotionally intimate.
The part of you that was hurt puts up a wall and suddenly everyone you meet may come with a warning sign (*”Danger! They may hurt us! Don’t trust them or show them who you are.”)
And while this gives you the illusion that you are “safe,” this can go directly against the desires of your heart for companionship, emotional and physical intimacy and real partnership and love.
Learning how to trust again after a trauma is a process, but here are 3 tips from my private practice that can help you start to unravel the pattern of defensiveness and emotional guarding that block intimacy.
1. On opening up….start where you are
Every interaction with another person carries with it a certain level of potential intimacy and vulnerability.
For example, an interaction like receiving a compliment from a barista about making a good choice on your latte requires a small level of vulnerability, while revealing something about yourself while in bed with your lover carries a higher one.
Determine what a “stretch” would be for you and practice allowing yourself to receive and be vulnerable once a day. Note: We have different levels of “stretch” sometimes depending on the day or moment, so as long as you are being honest with yourself, practice from where you’re at! Coffee shop, work lunch, on a date, etc.
2. Own your triggers…by tapping.
It’s so easy, especially when you are in a relationship or dating, to get triggered by something the other person says or does (or doesn’t say or do!). If you find yourself having an especially emotional outburst or strong reaction to a simple thing, it’s a good indication that it’s bumping up against an old wound or trigger.
When that happens, it’s so easy to react and take it out on the other person or shut down.
But instead, what I suggest to clients is to lightly “tap” (emotional freedom technique). This can be as simple as taking your index and middle finger and lightly tapping your collarbone and saying silently or aloud, “I’m feeling triggered right now.” This level of action and awareness can start to calm the mind and help you re-assess vs. react.
3. Affirm a more supportive belief
Using an affirmation that speaks to what you would like to believe (even if you aren’t quite there yet) can help you start to shift out of the belief that everyone is out to get you or that no one can be trusted.
Write down the opposite or what you would like to feel in your relationships and say it when you are feeling uneasy.
Some of my favorites? “The Universe supports me in every way. It is safe for me to be myself. No matter what happened before, today is a new day. I am safe.”
The more you can practice these three things, the closer you’ll be on your way to deeply connected, emotionally supportive relationships!
Q: Which one of these 3 tips will you implement this week?
Have you ever been through a relationship trauma? If so, what helped you learn to trust again after?
Share your insights by leaving a comment!
ps: If you are ready to break the pattern from past relationships that no longer serve you, private coaching can help you get there faster. If you are 10000% ready to change this + are receptive to getting support, go here to book a complimentary coaching consult call to learn more about how I can help you!