Want a practical tool to go deep in the relationships that matter most to you? A guide for how to connect over difficult topics to take your relationship to the next level of emotional intimacy? Milan and Kay Yerkovich provide a model for this in The Comfort Circle.
What is the Comfort Circle?
It is an incredible tool to get you talking with the people you love about meaningful, difficult topics that can make your relationship stronger. It is similar to Faithful and True’s Iceberg model and Brene Browns SFD model. Here is an overview:
- Share one thing that is stressing or upsetting you.
- Identify your feelings related to it (see list below).
- Rate your feelings from 1 (low) to 10 (high).
- Notice where and how you feel this in your body.
- How have you behaved and what actions have you taken in response to these feelings?
- Have there been any consequences of these feelings, actions, or behaviors?
- When you have these feelings, what are your beliefs about God, yourself, and others?
- When have you felt this before? How old were you and what happened? (if you felt these before or as a child, answer 9 and 10. If not, skip to 11).
- How did you find relief from these feelings as a child? What beliefs did you develop about yourself or those around you?
- Put a percentage on how much your current feelings are related to now and how much they are related to the past.
- What do you need when you feel this way?
- The listener should now summarize what he/she learned from the other person. They should also communicate whether they can meet the need or compromise about it.
How Do We Sit for the Comfort Circle?
They recommend as much as possible to be in a position of offering comfort during the comfort circle. This definitely means looking one another in the eyes. They recommend the listener hold the speaker’s head like you would cradle a child. Remember, any unhealthy love style we develop is birthed out of experiences as a child in which we learned that relationships do not bring the comfort we need. This exercise helps our brain to recognize that they do.
Watch Milan and Kay lead a couple through the comfort circle and get to the root of their core complaint about each other.
You can watch it on their freebies page here or click the vimeo link below.
Maybe You Have Trouble Naming Your Emotions
Having words to describe your emotion wields power. It equips you with the power to courageously share how you really are. What is exposed to the light has power to give relief and find resolution. Milan and Kay Yerkovich in How We Love call these soul words and offer you a list for free here: Soul Words.
Here is a great list of soul words to help you put into words your emotions for those you love. This can help in your marriage. It can also help you give your kids a tool name their emotions. Read more about this in Naming Emotions for Spouses and Kids.
How Can I Deepen Our Relationship on Non-Sensitive Topics?
Try checking in regularly with those you love. Here is a great model for connecting with your spouse. You can remember it as FANOS. This one is adapted from Faithful and True’s FANOS model, which comes from the Greek Word “phainos” which means “to bring to light” by Mark and Debbie Laaser.
- Feeling: state your feelings (not what you are thinking)
- Affirmation: affirm the other person or say “thank you” for something
- Needs: tell something you need that day (not necessarily from the other person)
- Own: something you did or said that you’d like to apologize or take responsibility for
- Status: explain where you are at with things you are working on improving. If you struggle with an addiction, this is where you would tell your spouse your sobriety status. If not, you can explain where you are at with other goals like organization or being less perfectionistic or more patient.
More Posts Like This:
- The Love Style Series
- Do You Have A Destructive Love Style? Take This Quiz
- The #1 Thing Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew (It directly correlates to women’s greatest insecurity)
- Love and Respect Make or Break your Marriage
- Naming Emotions for Spouses and Kids
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