How to Communicate Emotional Capacity in the "I can't even" Moments

communication emotions Jun 21, 2020
Looking back on the past few weeks, we've had more than our fair share of "I can't even" moments. We've been riding the waves of love & business, as we navigate the ever-changing terrains of our internal and external environments.
What is an "I can't even" moment? 
According to our trusted friends at, it's the complete, sudden onset of the cessation of brain activity, brought under the presence of acute stress, which fully affects the person only a short time after it strikes them. Said person, under the duress of the symptoms, demonstrate their affliction by alerting to others that they "can't even," in reference to their inability to deal with the symptoms, or their inability to perform simple actions which have been made impossible by their afflictions.
Basically, it's a feeling of overwhelm, a lack of desire to deal with something, or a disbelief about something or someone to the extent that you "can't even" (deal with it). 
Mind you, we've also had many "we've totally got this" moments over the past few weeks as well. Many of us seem to oscillate between these two momentary phenomena multiple times a day, while hitting every place in between too. 
So, what do we do when one of us (Ani or Lee) "can't even?"
First, we ask ourselves if we have the capacity to engage. One of us might say something like: "I want to be present for this conversation and show up fully; I'm not feeling resourced at the moment; can we talk about this in an hour after I've had time to unwind?"
This simple message lets the other person know that we want to give them our full attention and will better be able to do that after we've first taken care of our own needs. 
And when either of us wants to communicate something major to the other person, we often ask "are you feeling resourced to receive big information right now?"
Both of these ways of communicating consider all parties involved and allow each person to feel acknowledged. Isn't that what we want most in our relationship? 
*Mind blown* It's so simple that we may wonder how such words escape us in the "I can't even" moments. What usually ends up happening in these moments is we become some variation of defensive, frustrated, non-communicative, etc. 
What we love about this format is that it has us:
  • Acknowledge the other person by stating our desire to be present and engaged with the other and what they want to share
  • Acknowledge our experience and/or lack of capacity to receive information/have a conversation in that moment
  • Agree on a new day/time to follow-up (so all parties can feel complete in the interaction)
These are super simple words that can have us showing up for ourselves and others and deepening intimacy through clear, honest communication. 
Much love and good vibes,
Ani & Lee 

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