According to John Gottman, in every interaction in our significant relationships, there is an opportunity to attune or turn away. We have many experiences where we notice our partner, and we make a choice: “Do I ATTUNE myself to what is going on, “ or “Do I Turn Away?” Pay attention to what happens when you turn away. What are your thoughts? What happens to the other person? What does your body feel like? What do you choose instead?
A-T-T-U-N-E is an acronym for just how to turn toward our partners in a supportive and empathetic way. Our job with each other is to create emotional safety, and it is through small moments, like attuning, that create stability and ongoing romance. When we feel acknowledged, we feel secure and safe.
T- Turn Toward
Here are some fun ways to practice attuning opportunities:
- Go for a walk with a spouse or child.
- Plan a picnic.
- Cook dinner together.
- Call each other during the workday.
- Volunteer in the community.
- Plan an outing together: hike, bike, or drive.
- Visit the beach.
- Go dancing together.
- Plan to attend brunch.
- Get away to a secret location.
What ever you decide, remember the importance of attuned engagement and the strengthening power it has.
For extra support, or repair, in your relationship make an appointment with Wasatch Family Therapy at 801.944.4555.