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How to be yourself in your relationship

Who are you? What values are central to your life satisfaction at this time? What boundaries are you unwilling to have crossed? What needs do you have in a relationship?

These are all questions that I never ask my clients about showing up in their relationships.

Know why?

Because defining who we are is limiting.

In fact, in order to really "be ourselves," we usually have to dismantle the definitions of ourselves we've been holding onto.

They may have been definitions we got from our caregivers (being "smart," "trouble," "easy," etc.) They may have been definitions we took on to rebel against our caregivers.

These labels have layers upon layers to them, and in order to have healthy, loving relationships, we need to peel back the conditioning, peel back the layers of labels we've been carrying, so that we can really be ourselves.

When we're no longer burdened with these labels (what we call our persona in Jungian coaching) and the conditioning that accompanies them, we are free.

Being yourself is not about forcing yourself to act differently from your conditioning. That's just repeating the same mistake in reverse. Being ourselves is about accepting that our Persona is how we've been conditioned to fit in, to be accepted and lovable. It has nothing to do with who we really are.

If being yourself in your relationship is something you're ready to work on, here's a very short exercise for you:

Answer the following questions:

  1. What are qualities you love to have said about you? How do you like to be seen?

  2. What are qualities that you would not like to have said about you? What would you be embarrassed or upset to know people think about you?

  3. How do those qualities you love and hate relate to the people who raised you? Do your caregivers have any of those qualities?

  4. What would open up for you if you didn't need to be seen as the qualities you like?

  5. What would open up for you if you felt fine about people seeing you as the qualities you don't like?

Those qualities you wrote about in question one? They are in your Persona. And the qualities in question two are in your Shadow.

The goal of Jungian coaching is to make conscious our Persona and Shadow qualities so that we can choose how we show up, rather than our conditioning directing our lives to repeat the patterns that are keeping us stuck.

If you liked that exercise, let's do another one! Join me on a free 30-minute Dating Detox Call! On this call, I coach you through a short exercise similar to this one and you'll gain deep insight into what is holding you back in your love life. Just click the button below to schedule!

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