Improve Your Relationships – It’s All About Your Communication
Hallelujah ~ Praise the Lord!
Have you heard the one about the priest who trained his horse to “stop” by saying “Hallelujah”, and “go” by saying “Praise the lord?”
He went riding one day and a snake spooked his horse. The horse became terrified and took off at a full gallop. The horse was so frightened that it didn’t realize it was headed straight for the edge of a cliff. As the priest yelled, “Whoah, Jesus, Stop” and a few other choice sayings to no avail, the horse just kept charging straight for the edge of the cliff. Suddenly, the priest remembered the command for “Stop” and yelled, “Hallelujah” at the top of his lungs. Miraculously, the horse stopped just in time to keep from plunging to certain death. Relieved, the priest exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!”
How often do we forget how important positive, productive, communication is to any relationship?
It can lead a relationship to certain death or raise it to the highest levels of emotional passion.
I have a saying, “In the absence of communication and knowledge, the mind has free reign to wander.” It is dangerous for the mind to wander because it is in that place that people start to ASS-U-ME things. And we all know that assuming makes an “ASS” out of “U” and “ME.”
Why don’t people communicate more? I think it is a lack of safety. In the parent child relationship, how often is the child encouraged to be expressive, to challenge an opinion, to share their different thoughts and emotions? As a kid, were you encouraged in that manner?
How can we provide more safety in our communications with others? How can we create an easy, warm, loving environment where speaking and communicating are encouraged?
My solution is to keep one simple component in mind. No matter how the communication is happening, whether you agree, disagree, yell, scream, talk silently, write it out on paper; never have the love go away.
How can we communicate and never have the love go away? Here are some tips:
1. Address the behavior and not the person. That person is not selfish, instead you have interpreted their actions to be selfish. The person is not their behavior.
2. Understand that the other perspective is just as valid as yours and try it on for size. Walk a mile in their shoes with their beliefs and understand where they are coming from. Be empathetic.
3. Agree to disagree if necessary and have it all be OK.
4. When you both disagree, find a win-win that is a compromise on both sidets. Never seek absolutes because then it becomes a power struggle.
5. Create a safe environment and rules for communicating if necessary. Create a talking stick, like in the Native American cultures, have a pair of safety chairs, and never threaten the other person during a conversation.
6. Pick your battles carefully. Don’t lose the war over a battle in the moment.
7. Stay focused on the real outcome you want to achieve. How many times at the end of an argument you find yourself forgetting what started the whole thing to begin with? Stay on track.
8. The solution/compromise will not be found until both parties feel understood, validated, and their opinions are respected. Solutions come second, understanding feelings, beliefs and perspectives come first.
9. Say it the way you want it to be.
Communication leaves a person in one of two places: it leaves us feeling closer or leaves us feeling farther apart.
Malcolm Forbes once stated, “It is always worthwhile to let others know of their worth.”
You don’t have to always have to agree with another person in order to find their value. I hope that you can continue to increase your levels of communication to a point where the other person always leaves knowing that even if you have disagreed, the love is always present.
Liked This Article? Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week Newsletter directly in your inbox! (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)