What’s Taboo to You?
In my family, it seems like some things are too tragic to even talk about. A few months after my dear friend and ex-husband passed away last year, I had lunch with my aunt and uncle. At the end of the meal, during which we caught up on family and the weather and all those usual things, my aunt quietly reached across the table, lightly touched my hand, and with a nod, half-whispered “You’re doing all right, with….everything?”
I assured her that I was, because, let’s the be honest, the door hadn’t exactly been swung open to speak openly about my grief and the hell I found myself in. It felt easier to give her the answer she wanted to hear.
I remember a TV show in which the character’s mother would always whisper the word cancer, as if it was just too awful to say out loud.
But here’s the thing: not giving voice to things that are unpleasant to talk about does not make them go away.
If we choose to keep things to ourselves, we rob our loved ones of intimate moments with us from which we could all grow.
I, for one, would rather speak openly about, well, everything. In my sessions with clients (and even during dinner parties), I brazenly ask the questions about sex lives, the quality of relationships, and the taboo things that aren’t being said. It’s my super power.
Yes, some topics are very uncomfortable, and we don’t want to risk looking bad, looking stupid, being shamed, or being told that what we are saying doesn’t matter. When we choke back our words, not only is it toxic to our bodies to keep it bottled up, but it’s also the very opposite of intimate. It doesn’t help us to share our experiences and grow from them.
My clients often find themselves locked in quiet conflict with their partners because they’re afraid to speak up about the things that are troubling them. Instead of initiating a conversation in a safe, open way, they avoid the most important topics…and let them fester.
When we choke back our words, not only is it toxic to our bodies to keep it bottled up, but it’s also the very opposite of intimate.
My solution to this, and your invitation, should you choose to accept it, is to preface these topics with permission or a request for support.
Here are some examples:
● I’m feeling really upset about this and I’m not sure what’s happening for me. Can we talk about this some more?
● I have something I need to tell you and I’m scared that you’re going to be angry with me.
● Can I share an observation about what happened between us last night?
● This is really awkward and I’m not sure what to say.
● Please help me understand what you’re trying to say.
The next time you have something that you are tempted to keep to yourself because you feel triggered, or because you’re fearful of what might happen, try one of these on. You may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the conversation.
I will be speaking openly about all sorts of relationship-related things in my Play Space Salon and I would love to have you join me there on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. To access the live salon, head on over to my Facebook page and tune in at 7pm PDT. You’ll be able to send me your questions and comments as we go. I look so forward to seeing you there!
Get Real, like Sexy Real.
Tara Caffelle is a Relationship and Communication coach. She is passionate about creating connected, almost-uncomfortable-to-watch relationships that are based in Sexy Communication and Big Lives worth rolling around in.
Tara is based in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver and offers custom-designed coaching programs. To claim your free 90+ minutes and see what might be possible for your own super coupledom (or persondom), find a time here.
Have a question for Tara? Have an idea for a Hump Day conversation? How about just some thoughts about this thing called life? Let us know here. We’ll answer back. We promise.