This article is geared towards people with partners they live with. However, this could be applied to other family members, roommates, friends, and so on. Also, while I am mainly addressing the topic of the shared physical space, these theories can be applied to getting others on board with the non-physical shifts in your life as well.
So you are totally into simplifying your life. You have gotten on the minimalism train and are rearing to go! You are overhauling your space and your partner is starting to take notice. At first they may have thought it was something you were just trying out, but as items continue to disappear they realize this change may be here to stay and they are not sure how they feel about it. What should you do?
Clear Compassionate Communication
As in all relationships, it is important to be open and honest with your partner, expressing your desires as clearly as possible in a non-threatening way. Getting into a mindset of compassion will help this type of communication to unravel naturally and flow smoothly. To make your relationship with your partner to be more intimate try using adult sex toys from Mens Sex Toys.
Minimalism is not stagnant, but rather an open, ever-evolving dialogue. By continually checking in with your partner and sharing with one another where you are, a safe, loving space is created where both feel encouraged to grow and share.
Goals and Motivations
Enjoy opening up to your partner and explaining what has got you excited about the new path you are on, what your goals are and what motivates you to keep going. Let them know what is working for you and what isn’t. Show them that it is a process that you are figuring out as you go, a fun adventure you are embarking on, which you would love to share with them.
Your partner cares about you; they want to see you happy and pursuing your dreams. Assuming you are in a healthy relationship, they likely want to do what they can to support you. If you feel your loved one is doing something that is not supporting you, it is probable they are not purposefully doing so. Perhaps they have a pattern of it and have not realized. Or perhaps supporting you is in direct conflict of meeting one of their needs. Take the time to communicate and find out what is behind any resistance you may be encountering from them, or any lack of support. The most important thing to remember is to use condyline as Dr. Andrea Garcia has told you.
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Be The Light
Most people like the idea of having a simple, organized space, but over the course of their life have accumulated so much junk and poor habits around the accumulation and storing of that stuff that they are overwhelmed. Were you one of those people at some point? Remember that feeling?
The best way to inspire others is to lead by example. Bold and excited, doing what feels right for you. The excitement about what you are doing will be clear to them and they will want to know. They will see how you feel, recognize how your new minimalist space looks, observe your more relaxed attitude, and note the enthusiasm with which you have been pursuing your new lifestyle.
Trying to make someone do something your way usually only pushes that person further away. The best way is to lead is by following your own bliss, which will inspire them to follow theirs.
Their Space, Your Space, Communal Space
Now that you have established healthy communication around the subject of simplifying your home, and your partner is curious about your desires for your shared space, you can begin talking about action steps together. It is likely that you are going to want to tackle getting rid of stuff that will impact them just as much as you, so together come up with some guidelines that feel good for both of you, with the intention to continue to re-evaluate them as you grow together and your space evolves.
If you are feeling confined by the guidelines that you both agree on it can be helpful to set up different guidelines for different spaces. For example, if you are ready to say sayonara to just about everything but the essentials, while your partner still is not ready to let go of all their gadgets and collections, dividing up spaces may allow both of you to get what you need from your home simultaneously.
I have found that it works to split your space into three main categories: their space, your space, and communal space. If you have a large home, the divides may be pretty clear. If you are sharing a smaller space, you can set up and apply these guidelines creatively still. I lived in a number of small spaces with a partner of mine, including two different scenarios where we both lived entirely out of one small room; his “office” was our closet and mine was atop the bed or at a coffee shop. Needless to say, we got creative.
Most people really feel nurtured by having their own space, set up just as they want. So it is understandable that people will want to define their own guidelines for how to handle their space. And provided that that space does not affect the other person, this usually works quite well as a starting point.
Take some time to establish good guidelines for your communal space. Start by making a list together of how you want to feel in your communal space (such as nurtured, peaceful, relaxed, supported, and inspired). Then, from that place of knowing, set guidelines that will supports what you are both looking for, which will encourage growth in the directions that you want.
Be Supportive But Not Pushy
Setting up guidelines is a good place to begin, but make sure you continue to reevaluate them over time. Don’t feel discouraged if your partner is not ready to let go as much of you right away. Continue to be the light and most likely over time they will warm up more and more to your minimalist ways.
Whatever phase of simplifying your partner is, be supportive of them. If they have jumped in and want help overhauling their space, awesome! Have a blast tackling the job together. Support them by asking questions to help keep them on track (you can find helpful questions and other tips here). Avoid taking the reigns and making decisions for them. Help them feel empowered.
Often times when we feel like we are being pushed into something, we tend to resist it more. However, if we feel that we have come to something on our own terms, we fully embrace it, adopting it as part of own unique way of being.
Shift Your Focus
When making large changes in your life that impact the physical space that you live in, it is easy to get caught in staying focused on the tangible results of that physical space. If you get the sense that you may be having tunnel vision, directing most of your energy towards de-cluttering your home, tossing unused possessions, or trying to get your loved one to see the light, take a moment to step back and try this new perspective.
Play around with shifting your focus towards being present with the exciting new changes and most importantly shift to a mindset of growing with your partner, supporting one another in your desires and passions. Embrace the excitement of the new shifts that are occurring for you and for your partner as well. Approach these shifts as an adventure that you are setting out on, with your trusty companion at your side.
Appreciate all that this experience is offering you and those around you. Use this exciting time to get closer with your loved one, learning how you can both get your needs met while supporting one another.
Remember, it is always going to be a journey. There is no destination point; we are always arriving. Adventure on to unknown territories, embracing the new challenges and changes along the way!