“Is this Focusing style of understanding something that can be applied to relationships with others?”

Can Focusing skills be applied to how we treat other people? Read on…

Stephanie writes:

In my own Focusing, I will have a reaction to something, focus with it, become curious and learn more and allow my feelings to be heard; I think a similar process could benefit in relationships with others.

So is this Focusing style of understanding something that can be applied to relationships with others as well as with self, and if so does one go about it in the same way?

Dear Stephanie:

You might recall that the fundamental skill of Inner Relationship Focusing is to cultivate Self-in-PresenceWith that attitude of acceptance and curiosity, I can turn toward anything inside myself with curiosity and welcome, even if it’s a feeling or a belief that another part of me doesn’t like.

That’s also a fabulous attitude for approaching other people. Letting go of assumptions about the reasons for their behavior, and holding to the probability that whatever they are doing happens for an understandable inner reason.

So: curiosity. “I’ve noticed you’ve missed three of our scheduled meetings, and I’m wondering if something is going on for you, and if you’re OK.”

Whether that would be an appropriate thing to say in a particular relationship depends on a lot of factors! That’s why relationships with other people is a lot more complicated than listening to ourselves.

But allowing for those differences, it can really help to bring a friendly openness and a not-jumping-to-conclusions to all our relationships.

And listening. It’s a great gift to hear how it is from the other person’s point of view, to listen quite thoroughly before responding, to see how things are through their eyes, and even say that understanding back to them so they can check if you’ve got it right.

There’s one more thing I especially enjoy: It’s that the more I do Focusing within myself, the more room I have to be kind, generous, and curious about other people. And it feels good!

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