Ask yourself these questions about the people you’re thinking of coming out to, then answer them honestly, thoughtfully & thoroughly,
- After each and every question ask yourself “What else?” Until you literally can’t think of anything else to add to that particular answer.
- Why is this person who you want to come out to, important to you?
- What is it about you, that you want them to know? (Go beyond the ‘coming out’ information, and think about what else it is about you that you want them to know after you come out)
- Why is it important to you that they know this about you?
- How are you hoping your relationship with this person will look, after this revelation?
- What clues might you notice that would confirm for you that it is the right time to come out to this person?
- How would you know that telling them really was the right decision, after you’ve done it?
- What do you know about them that gives you hope that, though this revelation might be tough, & they may take it hard at first, they will eventually be able to come through for you?
- What about you, do you hope this person is able to remind themselves of, as they process this possibly tough information?
- How might you respond to a tough reaction they may have, that may help remind them of these amazing things about you?
- If this is difficult for them to hear, and they don’t process it as fast as you hope they will, what is the best possible way for you to respond to the situation between now and the time that it gets easier?
- Having answered all of these questions, on a scale from 0-10, where 10 is you feel totally ready and safe to come out to this person, and 0 is the opposite, where are you now?
- How would you know it moved up, even just a little bit?
- What number would you need to be, on the day you do come out?
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Rebekka Ouer, LCSW
Think about the last time life was incredibly tough, you know, one of those times when you remember waking up one day and feeling normal, and thinking about how grateful you are for just feeling normal again. Somehow, you got through that super tough time, and whether you’ve thought about it or not, you did some things well in that time to help you come out of it ok.
What was it that you did? How did you cope for as long as that tough time lasted? How else? What strengths were you able to put into action during that period of time? What values helped get you through? What resources were you able to successfully call on back then, that helped?
Go ahead…make a list…I’ll wait…..
Now, that list by itself just sits there…but you are officially consciously aware of the ammunition you will be able to throw at life’s next big struggle. Thus, you are more ready to take it on head first, throwing these proven bullets of ‘amazing’ directly at it. You’re already armed, but now…you’re simply more ready.
Rebekka Ouer, LCSW
Dallas Rainbow Counseling
@LGBT_Counselor on Twitter
With the gay and lesbian couples I see, some weeks it seems like I hear a LOT about things not being ‘good enough’, even though there is REMARKABLE progress to report. It’s a kind of glass-half-empty sentiment that is very natural for a lot of people…just seeing the lack of perfection as evidence that you’ll never be where you want to be.
I had a couple in my office last week, who have experienced almost two straight weeks of ‘better’, (& I mean MUCH better) but said that they are incredibly frustrated by the fight they had during that time, because they ‘shouldn’t’ be fighting at all, and ‘what does that say about us that we can do so well but still have stupid fights’?
Well…I think that it says that you are human.
I’m curious about what it says about you that you’ve had 2 great weeks in a row where you were able to feed your relationship in a way that was right for you, avoid fights, be as intimate as you’ve wanted, and get along as well as you have since you first got together?
That says to me that you’re working INCREDIBLY hard to be your best & improve your relationship, and it seems to be paying off…big time.
Give yourself credit for the good stuff…notice it, talk about it, focus on it and forgive yourself for falling back a bit on a rough day in a rough moment.
Then, simply repeat.
Yeah, you’re getting the idea now…
The difference between a fight, and a constructive conversation, all lies in where you choose to focus.
For example, I had a couple in my office recently, and the conversation between them quickly turned argumentative with one accusing the other of ‘always being disrespectful about my family’.
Before they could spiral downward I asked one quick question, and the conversation turned on its heels from an accusatory, frustrating argument, to a solution focused and complimentary discussion.
I asked this: “If both of you were able to be at your absolute best the next time this topic of family comes up, how might the conversation look different?”
And together, we made a list of close to 40 things they would notice about that conversation including things like being patient, listening, being respectful, and even walking away for a minute if it got heated. When they left that appointment they were both smiling, laughing and planning a fun night out together.
From problem talk to solution talk, in 1.3 seconds.
Think for a minute about the last time you got into a heated argument with someone you care about.
Now answer this 2 part question:
If you now, knowing what you know about how that day and event unfolded, were to find yourself and your loved one heading in that exact direction again, what might you do differently & how might that make a difference in the way things happened?
I imagine that your honest and well thought out answer to that question has a much bigger chance of actually working, than ANY piece of advice anyone could give you would.
Here’s to next time’s success,
Questions? Call me, email me, or set up an appointment by going to