EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN RELATIONSHIPS
How often when we are in a relationship do we complain about how our partner hasn’t heard what we have said? And how often do you find yourself saying I’ve already told you?
So what is going on here? Why does one person feel they have conveyed something to their partner and for some mysterious reason they haven’t heard?
At the end of the day we are all wired differently. Apart from the obvious fact that men and women are different we also have different maps of the world to how we view things. This is because we have 2 million bits of information per second coming at us and at the base of our brain is what’s called the Reticular Activating System which is responsible for sorting & filtering this information through our internal representation system. This means we take in information through our 5 senses; visual, auditory (sound), kinesthetic (feelings), smell and taste. So our Internal representation system deletes, distorts & generalises what comes to us and this effects our values, beliefs, attitude, memories, decisions, language & our thought & behaviour patterns.
No wonder we see things from different perspectives and viewpoints. So I’m sure you all know from experience that yelling at someone gets you nowhere fast. As does coming from a space of reaction so what’s the answer to effective communication?
Firstly it’s to come from a place of respect and love even if it’s something that is causing you distress. It’s certainly not a good idea to discuss something that’s really important to you if it’s not the right time. In other words don’t do it when you are in the car driving because you are not going to have their full attention, as well as doing it when you are in angry or hurt space either. The reason being is that you will be coming from a reactive space which will not benefit either of you.
CONNECT FIRST BEFORE TALKING
A great way to keep on track with your communication, especially after doing the relationship audit is to make a time to sit down and talk. Start with sitting opposite each other, closing your eyes and connecting with yourself first by taking a few deep breaths into your belly. Then open your eyes and just look at each other. Look at each other’s left eye only, this is a fast track way to connect to each other. Do this for as long as it takes to connect, you will feel when you are ready and when that point comes put your right hand on the other person’s heart and take a few breaths and then you are ready.
One person at a time should say what needs to be said and the other person is to just receive it, not interrupt and when the person is complete to say thank you and then it’s your turn to say what you want. This ensures the other person hears what has to be said. Sometimes it can be helpful for the other person to acknowledge what you have said and repeat back some of the key points. If what you hear upsets you, take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and to enable you to respond from a non reactive space.
COME FROM A SPACE OF LOVE
The best way to start these types of communications is to say something like “I love xyz that you do” this starts off with a positive statement & doesn’t get your partner off side. Then you can follow up with “What I would like to see more of is xyz because it makes me feel xyz“. This then opens the communication in an open space. Always speak from the space of I not you. Then you can both look at ways to resolve the issue by communicating clearly and effectively and working at a solution together. Sometimes you may not agree straight away on a solution, so you can have time out and let it sit and perculate for a set period and come back to it. Another alternative is to try a different way for a few weeks as a trial and then come back and review it.
The most important thing is to come from your heart rather than your head and to speak your truth, what is true for you. When you communicate effectively with each other this helps to connect you to each other in a positive and respectful way, which ultimately is more effective for your relationship to grow deeper.