What are fierce conversations and why are they important in our romantic relationships?
Fierce conversations are the ones where we show up as our real selves. They are the conversations that get deep to the heart of issues by interrogating reality, provoking learning, tackling our toughest challenges, and ultimately… enriching our relationships.
In Roget’s Thesaurus, “fierce” has the following synonyms: robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, unbridled, uncurbed, untamed. These are words that describe what a fierce conversation is like.
Fierce conversations are sometimes hard to have because of the courage they require, but they don’t have to be frightening, cruel or threatening.
Fierce conversations break the silence between you and your partner and allows you to question what is really going on in your relationship. To have fierce conversations, apply these principles.
The 7 principles to fierce conversations are:
Oftentimes when people communicate with their partner, they aren’t really saying anything. They aren’t connecting, engaging, or deepening their relationships with the conversations they are having.
The 7 Principles to Fierce Conversations helps you to be real in conversations and understand the importance of conscious communication in your romantic relationships.
Being yourself is the most important part of having fierce conversations in your relationship. These 7 principles will help you to come out from behind yourself and into a conversation and make it real. The goal is to be able to say something that is true for you in the conversations you have.
If you can apply these seven principles to your conversations, you’ll have a bond with your partner that deepens as time goes on.
You can’t predict your future and no one can tell you what’s going to happen in your life. So whatever plans you have aren’t going to survive it’s collision with reality. Things will change, your life will shift and you’ll get no advanced notice about it.
In relationships, couples change and don’t tell each other.
To interrogate reality means to understand your own beliefs and question if they are working for you and your relationship or not.
Our context determines the content in our lives. If we have misbeliefs about ourselves, each other or our relationship, it can derail the progress of our relationship. Perhaps what you thought was true is no longer true today.
To question your reality means being able to sit with yourself for a moment and ask: Are there differences between what I believe to be true and what is actually true?
To master the courage to interrogate reality will take you on a journey full of deep and positive personal change.
This principle is all about trust. Trusting yourself to speak your truth so that you can be trusted by your partner. When you don’t say what you actually mean or feel, you are essentially telling your partner lies and that can be damaging to your relationship.
You are a magnificent human being full of your own unique experiences, perspectives, and beliefs. It is up to you to utilize your wide range of talents, thoughts, and ideas to speak your truth as authentically as possible.
“You cannot have the life you want, make the decisions you want, or be the leader you are capable of being until your actions represent an authentic expression of who you really are, or wish to become.” – Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
When you enter conversations as the real you and don’t try to say what you think others want to hear, you’ll begin to trust yourself and be trusted by your partner.
With real conversations, you have the power to change your relationship before the conversation even ends.
Your presence is the best gift you can give your partner. When you are having fierce relationship conversations, you are giving your undivided attention.
Put down your phone, close your laptop and listen to what your partner is saying.
Humans share a universal and basic need: to connect, be known, be loved, valued and appreciated. When we give our full attention and deep, compassionate listening skills, we are telling our partner that we care about them and “see” them.
In a great book, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Peter Senge, I learned that the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa greet each other in a way that translates to, “I see you” and the response is “I am here.”
It isn’t until we see our partner that they can really feel like they are there.
Learning how to have meaningful conversations with your spouse or partner begins with you. When you are present in conversation, you open up endless possibilities and opportunities to take beautiful detours into the heart of what really matters.
“Burnout happens, not because we’re trying to solve problems, but because we’ve been trying to solve the same problem over and over.” – Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
Some problems that arise in relationships are tougher than others and that can cause us to hesitate, procrastinate, or even terminate the conversation we need to have.
Similar to having the courage to interrogate your reality, you must have the courage to hunt down the problems that are giving you the most discomfort and bring them to the surface to be dealt with.
Relationships cannot progress without dealing with the problems.
If you’re avoiding having a conversation that you know will help solve the problems in your relationship, tackle it today. Name the issue and get straight to the point.
“Our radar works perfectly. It is the operator who is in question.” – Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
During the conversations you have with your partner, start to notice the little voice that is speaking to you. It may be about things that interest you in the conversation or questions you want to ask, but don’t.
As you pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling, start to act on what your inner voice is urging you to say or do. Remember: your thoughts and feelings are neither right nor wrong, they simple are.
Giving power to this inner voice of intuition (and inviting your partner to explore it with you) will give our conversations an opportunity to go deeper.
When you empower your intuition and become courageous in your action, watch how you are able to transform your conversation, and your relationship.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Theresa
In relationships, everything you say to your partner matters. There is no trivial comment. Your emotional wake is the aftermath of the words you’ve chosen or the action you’ve taken. The ripple effect you create is your responsibility in your relationship.
A mumble, grumble, or back-hand comment can have a negative impact on your partner and what you’ve said can’t be taken back. In having fierce conversations, you’re choosing to be conscious of what you say and how it may affect your partner.
Your emotional wake is your responsibility.
Are you creating a positive or a negative ripple effect in your relationship?
Many of us fear silence in our relationships, but when having fierce conversations, embracing silence can lead to positive outcomes in your conversation.
When too much is being said and there is not enough listening being done, you can use silence to slow down the conversation so you can uncover what the conversation really needs to be about.
“Silence is where what is real can be detected.” – Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
Conversations are meant to be had with someone, not at them. Making room for silence, makes room for interrogating reality, learning what problems and challenges can be tackled, and how your relationship can be enriched.
The seven principles of fierce conversations are what will allow you to create rich and satisfying romantic relationships in your life. Being fierce in your conversations and romantic relationships is a skill set, mind-set, attitude and way of life.
Fierce conversations are not for the timid, they are for the courageous because the biggest barrier to addressing these questions is fear. To put aside your fear and apply these principles to the conversations in your romantic relationship will lead to a desirable outcome that was not previously accessible.
I don’t expect you to apply all seven of these principles immediately. I suggest starting with one and applying it for thirty days.
The more you apply these principles to your conversations, the more you will see a transformation in your romantic relationship.
Are you ready to have fierce conversations?
If you’re ready to learn about the conversations that contribute to healthy romantic relationships, pre-order my latest book, Fierce Love: Creating a Love that Lasts – One Conversation at a Time on Amazon today!
© Copyright Susan Scott. All rights reserved.
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