We are living in unprecedented times, navigating uncharted territories. We are all showing up the best we can. Our partners are probably experiencing the best of us—and perhaps the worst of us. We all have different ways of coping with crisis. For example, one of you may take a structured, purposeful, and proactive approach—while the other is more passive and fatalistic. One of you overreacts, and the other underreacts. If you think there is only one way to do things, then we put an enormous burden on our partner, contributing to stress and conflict. So, how do we use this time to create more connection rather than less? Try sitting down and have fun asking your partner these questions:
- What is been your experience with the virus so far? What do you see as one positive and maybe one challenge?
- What has it been like spending more time at home together?
- What is one request you have of me to help make you feel more safe, connected, and loved during this time (e.g watch more news, or less news, put together a plan, social distancing changes, more time discussing what is going on or less time, etc.).
- What is one thing I can do to reduce your stress?
- What is one thing we can do together to reduce the stress?
- What is one thing we can do together to have some fun?
- What is one thing we can do to stay healthy that we are not currently doing or not doing consistently?
- What is one thing we can do together to feel safer, more love, and connected?
- What is your greatest worry/fear? What can I do to help with that?
- What is one thing we can do either individually or together that we have always wanted to do, but never had the time?
- What unexpected positive things have you noticed during this time together?
Asking questions with the mindset of curiosity is a simple and easy way to create connection when times get challenging. Questions provide permission to go beyond the surface and communicate what really matters. If you have kids at home, you may want to get them involved as well. As always, have fun with it and enjoy seeing what shows up!