EP 341: How to Communicate When You Feel Scared with Amanda

This episode is about reducing a trauma response when communicating with people who matter to us. Today’s caller, Amanda, feels scared and goes into a trauma response when communicating with her partner. In her past, she felt disempowered in other relationships. She would like guidance on how to feel less afraid when communicating her needs.

When we have been through a challenging situation or trauma that goes deep into our subconscious mind, body, and nervous system, we feel we have no power or control. That is why it is so traumatic. The more we empower ourselves to have control, speak our needs, and make a request the more we tell our body and nervous system that we are safe.

Anytime we are in a trauma response we are time-traveling. Our physical body is in the present moment but our nervous system is in the past. Our brain has a hard time distinguishing whether we are in a safe place or are we in trauma. Maybe we had no voice, no power, and no dominion over our experience when the trauma occurred. But, the more we can set ourselves up at the beginning, the less likely we are to time-travel into the trauma response.

In a relationship, as much as we are sovereign beings and know that no one can heal us, it is also reasonable and healing in a relationship to know each other’s wounds. We can be sensitive to other people’s wounds and do our part to help the other person grow. We are entitled to make requests when we are taking responsibility. We cannot ask someone else to change until we own our end and are doing the work. Only then can we make a request of someone else.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Do you have trouble speaking up for yourself or communicating your needs?
  • Do you often get angry and lash out because your needs aren’t being met and you are not communicating?
  • Do you have difficulty calming yourself down when you are in a trauma response?
  • Do you know what it means to regulate your nervous system when you are in a trauma response?

Amanda’s Question:

Amanda would like guidance on how to feel less afraid when it comes to communicating her needs to her partner.

Amanda’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • She gets triggered when communicating with her partner.
  • She sometimes abruptly leaves confrontation.
  • When standing her ground, she can feel angry.
  • She has done EMDR with her therapist.
  • Her partner has big energy.
  • She fears communicating her needs.
  • She felt powerless when her dad remarried.
  • She wants someone to stand up for her.
  • She has been in an abusive relationship.
  • She is committed to being vulnerable.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Move her energy by regulating her nervous system and getting herself into the present moment.
  • Name her feelings when she wants to communicate.
  • Remind herself she is a grown woman and her partner is not her stepmother.
  • Have a conversation with her partner about a flinch response.
  • Release the rage she feels toward her stepmother and ex through release writing and the temper tantrum technique.


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It is up to us to do our healing but we can become a healing ally for those we are in relationships with. Share on X Sometimes, it takes being in a triggering situation to integrate lessons and healing. Share on X The more we empower ourselves to have control, speak our needs, and make a request the more we tell our body and nervous system that we are safe. Share on X

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