Have you ever felt like you couldn't comfortably express your emotions to someone else?
What was it about that situation that made you feel uncomfortable?
Were you unsure if you were in a safe space to express your true emotions?
If so, you probably weren't in anemotionally safe (or supportive) environment.
In relationships, it's important to work towards being emotionally supportive of each other.
This adds to the creation of an emotionally safe space for everyone involved.
After all, who wouldn't want to feel emotionally safe in their relationship?
Why Does Emotional Safety Matter?
Emotional safety is a feeling of security that allows you to be your true self in a relationship.
Think of it as feeling comfortable enough to feel that you don't need to hide any part of who you are and how you feel with your partner.
Benefits of emotional safety in relationships include:
A strong feeling of openness, trust, and honesty
Increased sense of value in yourself and your partner
An ability to express your feelings without judgement
Creation of a deeper connection with your partner
Emotional safety can lead to a healthier relationship and provide a more meaningful connection for everyone involved!
But on the flip side...
Relationships without emotional safety can lead to:
A weakened relationship resulting in a breakup later on
Feelings of disconnection between partners
More conflict and turmoil within the relationship
An inability to share your feelings or thoughts in a healthy way
To avoid these situations, you should try to create more emotional safety for your partner.
One way to create emotional safety in your relationship can involve being emotionally supportive of your partner.
Why is Emotional Support Important?
Emotions can be described as "a state of feeling".
Emotional support involves purposeful verbal and nonverbal actions that show care and affection to others.
Relationships thrive more when both partners can communicate with each other.
Part of healthy communication involves providing opportunities for each person to safely express their emotions.
After all, the best kind of relationship is a healthy one!
Some benefits of emotionally supportive relationships include:
The creation of an emotionally safe environment
More transparency, trust, and honesty in your relationship
Improved ability to handle relationship stress
When You Should be Emotionally Supportive
It can be challenging for some people to know when to offer more emotional support, but there are signs that you can look out for.
Your partner might need emotional support if they:
Seem to be stressed but haven't told you why
Begin to grow distant from you without a warning
Seem to rarely talk about their emotions with you
How to Create an Emotionally Supportive Environment
2. Validate your partner's feelings
After hearing their story, be ready to let them know that you recognize their feelings.
Tell them that you understand their perspective (which will be true if you've been listening!).
3. Show your partner support
Check in with your partner's emotions regularly. Ask questions like:
"Are you feeling emotionally supported by me right now?"
"What can I do to improve the support I'm offering you?"
"Is there anything you'd like me to avoid?"
5. Understand YOUR emotional needs
In order to support others, you need to have an understanding of your own needs.
Self-reflect and identify what you need for emotional support.
Create an open dialogue so both of you can work on sharing your emotional needs.
Time to Practice!
Kenzo and Amal have been together for 5 months.
Kenzo notices that Amal has been quieter than usual, but Amal hasn't given a reason for her changed behavior.
She's showing signs of increased stress and exhaustion after work.
Kenzo wants to offer Amal more emotional support in their relationship.
What would be some good steps for Kenzo to take with Amal in order to be emotionally supportive? Select all that apply.