FIML FAQs

I have a partner who is willing to do FIML. How do we start?

Find a clear space in your relationship—a time or place or subject where there is no conflict. Start there.

What if we have some big issues? How can we address them with FIML?

In the beginning, don’t. FIML works especially well because it is designed to work with small things. Work with small stuff first and then gradually add small bits of your big issues when and if they arise. A big issue is only big because we believe it is or have learned to deal with it in that way. If you nibble at the edges of it with your partner you may find that your big issue was not so big after all.

What if my issues really are big?

All anyone can do—no matter what their background—is make the best of it. When analyzing ourselves we need to be careful about two things: 1) overly generalizing and 2) expecting complete change. Instead, we want to focus on: 1)  the particulars of who we really are and what our conditions really are and 2) upgrading those things as needed. For FIML practice avoid general diagnoses about what you think your condition is. Seek to upgrade your traits rather than completely change them. Begin with good, clear communication with your partner based on honest FIML practice.

We already have a good relationship and my partner thinks it would be risky to do FIML.

I do not believe that FIML practice will harm anyone’s relationship but only improve it. Try a few small FIML exercises with your partner—even if you are both skeptical—and see what they do for you. You will probably discover that there are large areas of your minds that are looking at each other and the world differently. It is not a problem to see this, but a benefit.

We have tried to do FIML but find it hard to actually initiate FIML queries. It seems kind of strange to do that.

If either you or your partner finds it hard to initiate a FIML query, you can warm-up by just randomly asking each other what you associate with any arbitrary word or phrase. Or point to something and ask each other what you associate with it, how it makes you feel, or what your frames of reference are for it. With a little practice you will find it not so hard to do this. From these exercises it is but a short step to doing a normal FIML query.

I am pretty good at answering FIML queries from my partner but I rarely ask anything.

It very is important that each partner learn to ask as well as answer FIML queries. This is so because when you initiate a FIML query you are acting on something within yourself that your partner cannot see or know unless you say something. If you remain silent, your mistaken interpretation and all the emotions associated with it will persist.

In many places you have said that a neurosis is a “mistaken impression” or that I will find that my understanding of what my partner has just said will almost certainly be a mistake or at least not the whole truth. But what if I did understand what they meant and they confirm it? What if I sense that they are mad at me, do a FIML query and am told by my partner that they are mad at me for something I said or did?

If something like that happens it is because your partner missed an important opportunity to do FIML. When they first noticed their own reaction to whatever it is you said or did, they should have initiated a FIML query.

FIML seems too simple to do what you claim it can do.

The basic FIML technique is, indeed, fairly simple. But its simplicity can be deceptive. Once mastered, the basic technique allows partners to have much greater freedom in what they say to each other. It will also give them a much greater range of things that are possible to say to each other.

Where do we start?

At the top of the page are some links—What is FIML? How to do FIML? Please read those links and/or other posts on this site. Eventually we hope to give classes on FIML practice but cannot do so quite yet due to other commitments.

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