Three foundations are essential to nurture and sustain a loving relationship…
COMMUNICATION, TRUST and RESPECT
Healthy communication is essential for trust and respect to be established and flourish in a relationship.
We have been conditioned in many ways to think of communication as an opportunity to get what we want through control or manipulation.
Our strategies are often about getting the other person to agree with our belief, idea or reality or to get them where we want them.
These expectations, getting everything we want and getting control, set us up to enter a discussion either armoured and defensive, or overconfident and ready to attack.
If you are armoured and defensive you will be hyper-alert, scanning every word just waiting for the attack you expect to come. Often, no matter what the other person says or how they say it, you will see it as evidence or imagine that you have been attacked.
Alternatively, an overconfident person comes well-armed with many spears to throw, many points to argue and win, totally believing that their views are reality. As a result, they are not open or really even able to hear or understand the other person’s point of view.
It can only take a few words before either pattern is triggered and suddenly conflict arises, things become very personal and feelings are deeply wounded.
Paradoxically both people will say they are not heard or understood.
So, how do you turn this negative, destructive process into a positive experience that nurtures and builds relationship?
How can each person communicate from an open heart and mind with an intention to understand, to heal and to build trust, respect and intimacy?
- Have the willingness to want to save this relationship and believe that it is worth working on.
- Take responsibility for your own negative communication patterns and be prepared to do whatever it takes to change them.
- Find the information and skills you need for healthy communication and/or find an expert who can help you both see these patterns as they arise and facilitate difficult communication so that you can understand and learn these skills quickly and effectively.