I’ve received a lot of requests for a blog on how to share Intimacy Skills with a sister, mom, daughter or friend.
Seems we all know a woman or two who’s having a tough time in her relationship.
Maybe you listen to her vent or you’re her shoulder to cry on.
You wish you could help her, but sometimes her relationship problems feel insurmountable, or she doesn’t seem open to hearing about what she could be doing differently.
You want to be supportive, but listening to her NET (Needless Emotional Turmoil) is no fun.
You’d love to see her feeling desired, cherished and adored by her man, and you’re wondering how to get the message across without insulting her.
You want to show her some resources, but how?
Here are 3 ways to help a friend get Intimacy Skills.
1. Listen and Empathize
If your friend is complaining about how her husband is mentally or verbally abusive, or how she suspects he’s cheating on her, you might feel overwhelmed about how to help her.
One great way to support her is just to listen and empathize by putting yourself in her shoes and reflecting on how it would feel to be her.
Saying to your friend or sister or daughter “That sounds exhausting” or “I’d be so hurt” will go a long way toward making her feel heard and understood.
If I don’t feel heard, I’m not very open to anything. Mostly I just repeat myself until I think I’ve gotten my message across.
We all have a deep need to be heard and understood. Giving a loved one that gift is one of the best ways I can think of to support her.
Once you validate her feelings, she’s going to be more open to listening to what you have to say.
2. Relate to Her
You might think you have never been through anything like what she’s talking about and therefore you can’t relate. At all.
Even if you don’t have exactly the same story, you probably have had challenges in your relationship that felt insurmountable or heartbreaking.
Maybe you couldn’t see eye to eye on something important–like your faith or how to parent the kids or spend money.
Maybe you’ve been through a rough patch that you didn’t know how to solve. Like the time your husband was so mean to your son and you intervened and it turned into a big fight.
It’s not the same, that’s for sure, and you might say that up front. But sharing your own struggle that shows you don’t have the perfect life is a great way to say “I relate to you. I’ve been there and I won’t judge you.”
She’ll feel safer, which means less defensive. In other words, being vulnerable yourself will help her be open to listening to what you say next.
3. Let Her Be the Expert on Her Life
Now that your friend or family member feels heard and understood, and she knows you’re not perfect either, she may be open to hearing about something that was helpful for you.
Next you want to let her decide what’s best for her.
Maybe you will invite her to read a free chapter of The Empowered Wife, which outlines the 6 Intimacy Skills™ step by step.
Or if she’s a visual person, you could invite her to watch the Empowered Wives TV series on Amazon.
You might invite her to come to The Cherished for Life Weekend for a girls’ weekend.
She’ll know if any of those appeals to her, but if they don’t, you might just let her know that you trust her to know what’s best for her.
Here’s why: My dad loves the book Clan of the Cave Bear and he’s been after me for years to read it, but I never have.
I’m sure Clan is a great book. I’m even willing to bet that if I did read it, I’d enjoy it. I respect my dad, and his taste in books has long influenced mine.
But I can’t open that book because dad is so attached to me reading it. He’s been insisting that I must read it for so long that I get all rebellious and contrary the minute he mentions it again.
If he had stuck to saying how much he enjoyed it or saying how much it made him look at things differently, I probably would have read the whole series years ago.
As it is, my inner response is “You can’t make me!”
As a mere mortal woman, I can’t get around my compulsion to be autonomous long enough to crack that book open.
The more he urges me to read it, the heavier that book gets.
If you were to tell your friend she should check out a book or a show, she might also find that hill too steep to climb.
But if you invite her to check something out or tell her how much you got out of it, she’ll probably feel more open.
As with all of us, only she knows what’s best for her.
The 6 Intimacy Skills might not fit for her. Truly.
But then again, they might.
And if they do, she just might find a way to make her marriage magical again.
And you will be an amazing friend for introducing them to her.
Have you ever shared what you’ve learned about relationships with a friend or family member? How did it go? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.