Gay Coaching: Emotional regulation for gay men.
How to use emotional regulation to your advantage?
Have you ever heard about the “Theory of attachment” about how our emotional states are “controlled” by the presence of strong anchors/attachments in our lives?
Emotional regulation refers to your current emotional states and the way you manage them. Based on research, we know that if you are depressed and anxious it usually means that you don’t have a secure and emotionally stable person in your intimate life.
How is this relevant to gay relationships?
Because if you are in a toxic relationship or if you are single – you will need someone who can validate you for your emotions – someone who can be a mirror for your good and bad emotional states. If you don’t have that person – you will find yourself anxious and in a chronic depression.
It takes effort and energy to meet high-quality gay men and to create a relationship. If you are in a state of anxiety because you are single and insecure about it – it will negatively impact your efforts to meet more people and attend gay social events.
How can I use “emotional regulation” to my advantage quickly?
The first step is to accept that we need other people to be deeply connected to us. If you believe that you can live your life independently of everyone else than you will not get the benefits of emotional regulation.
So, again – it comes back to accepting yourself as part of a community – and accepting your emotional states as mirrors of the quality of your connection to that community.
The second step is to identify the strong and secure people with whom you can “emotionally unload” by having deep, authentic conversations. I call these people “Emotional Anchors”. These conversations are not the same conversations you have with your co-workers or your friends.
A good analogy is the religious practice of going to the confessional. When you get there, the priest listens to all your “sins”. Psychologically speaking you are unloading your worries, negativity and fears.
You can increase the benefit of such “confessional” when you practice it with your emotional anchors regularly. Such practice is so empowering to your emotional states that within just a few conversations you will begin to notice harmony and strength returning to your life.
During those conversations you reveal your secrets, your fears, worries, frustrations about life, sex, body, your future, money and anything else that’s on your mind.
The third step is to practice self-disclosure with yourself and with others, especially with the people you identified in step two. Self-disclosure is about sharing thoughts and feelings you go through every day and not pretending that those thoughts or feelings go away by themselves. Self-disclosure is like purging negativity from your life and what you get in return is emotional stability and harmony.
I recommend that prior to choosing your “Emotional Anchors” for emotional regulation that you learn how to make those choices. In the program “Gay Compatibility Formula” I talk about the selection of partners for a romantic relationship and also how to choose your Emotional Anchors for emotional empowerment.
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