“I am who I am!” It’s a statement I hear often in the context of couples counseling. I always wonder:are you saying you are not capable of change?
Sometimes this kind of take it or leave it declaration is said in frustration, as a defense against feelinganxious, depressed, or pressured. It’s worth examining whether you are feeling guilty or disrepected when you hear yourself say such a statement.
But another possibility is that this is a request for acceptance. Saying I am who I am can be request to be seen, heard, and understood more fully.
What does hearing or saying this mean to you in your relationship?
Let me give you an example from my own experience. My core value has been to keep trying to improve on the person I am in the present while also accepting my limitations. A number of years ago my adult daughter, in a matter of fact way, told me I was self-centered. This hurt to the quick as my
self-perception was quite different.
I called an old friend to ask her what she thought and she agreed. This was a turning point in my life. Today I first think about what the needs of the people
I love are and how I can “inconvenience” myself to be the person I want to be with them.
Change happens best while we are loving ourselves and are open to moderating the manner in which we express ourselves.
You won’t lose the essential “you” by thinking before speaking. You’ll enhance your essence when you take time to formulate words that will be kind yet get across your requests for emotional intimacy.
Do you have someone in your life who will tell you the bold, hurtful truth that will allow you to see yourself more clearly?
Have the courage to seek their feedback on how people see you so you can measure up to your highest self. Be a work in progress.
Reinventing yourself to more fully listen and understand your partner can be the change you’re seeking for increasing intimacy in your relationship.