Communication Essentials, Part One

If you are reading this article, I am assuming that you are looking for some inspiring ideas and tips for improving your interpersonal communication with potential partners.

This article is the first in my Keys to Building Stable, Mutually Fulfilling Relationship series and will focus on some foundational ideas on the topic of interpersonal communication.  Throughout the series I will share ideas, principles, and tips with one goal in mind: To help partners build strong, lasting, mutually fulfilling relationships.

Give it a read and see what comes up for you.

Introductory Thoughts

The time pressured, materially oriented society that we live in can sometimes make connecting with others very difficult.

In addition, the interpersonal communication styles and skills we learned from our families all have their strengths and weaknesses.  In my work as a counselor, I found that in many cases, people were exposed to, and acquired some “less than optimal” approaches to social interaction that adversely affected their capacity to form close, stable, mutually fulfilling relationships.

The ideas and principles presented in this article are intended to prompt readers to reconsider communication principles that they already know in their hearts to be true, but may not be consistently following.

I know that I sure need to more consistently apply all of the principles I am about to share.

Just ask my wife!

Let’s get started!

Respect

Perhaps the most basic and essential foundational building block for effective interpersonal communication is respect.

Gandhi, when asked about Love, paused for a moment and then replied,  “Respect….. respect is the minimum expression of love…..   Respect is the starting point……”.

When it comes to “respect” as it relates to interpersonal communication two basic things come up for me:

  • the importance of listening without instantly judging the other person or their experience.
  • the importance of providing adequate time for the other person to complete their thought without interrupting, jumping into sharing an experience of my own, or changing the subject.

From my perspective, “respect” provides the foundation on which all mutually fulfilling interpersonal relationships are based.

When you contemplate the word “respect” in the context of interpersonal relationships, what comes up for you?

Be transparent and authentic

When I talk about being transparent and authentic I simply mean saying what you really believe.  From this perspective, being transparent and authentic really means being completely truthful, especially when it is hard to do so.  Sharing the “hard truth” with people you are close to can be challenging, but it always pays big relationship dividends.

When it comes down to it, people really need to know that they can count on you to be honest and direct with them.  This consistency builds the unflappable trust and rapport between people that makes their relationship strong and highly valued.

Now to be clear, I am not advocating being insensitive.

For example, I am not recommending telling your sweetie that his new outfit makes his butt look big or that you absolutely hated his attempt at cooking one of your favorite dishes.  You have to use some common sense!

I am advocating avoiding “glossing over” something to save yourself some difficulties that may come with being direct and honest.

We all have experienced, that when we “water down” the truth for the sake of our emotional convenience, that it usually comes back to bite us.  We end up looking stupid, or, worse yet indifferent, and in the end the truth comes out despite our attempts to “tiptoe around it”!

Can you recall a situation where it would have been better to “just spill the beans” to begin with?

Of course you can, because we have all been there and have many of these “regret T-shirts” hanging in our “wish I had been more direct closets”.

Time for some spring cleaning!

When you are transparent and authentic it builds trust and rapport because people can count on you to share your true opinions, beliefs, and feelings even when doing so means “going out on the proverbial limb.”  We all know this to be true.

The fact is that loving relationships simply require us to be up front about things.

If you expect your partner to be open with you, then you have to be open with them.

It’s the relationship that matters

When I do workshops for singles and couples seeking more mutually fulfilling, committed relationships, I always emphasize that it is important to remember that relationships, by their very nature, require nurturing and maintenance.  We all get into “trouble” when we fall into the pattern of taking our relationships for granted.  We all know this to be true, and frankly, by the time most couples seek relationship counseling, there is often “too much water under the proverbial bridge” to restore the “spark” that gave life to their relationship.

In this context I always point out that:

  • relationships exist in the present; not in the past; and not in the future.
  • when people stop relating, the relationship, for all intensive purposes, ceases to exist.

Just ask any really estranged divorced couple trying to raise their children.

Ouch!  

Summary

As I frequently point out, we are always building our “relationship house”.

If you build your “relationship house” on the solid ground of mutual respect, authenticity, and transparency, and consistently put forth the effort that it takes to nurture your precious relationship, it will weather the storms of disagreement and crises that inevitably arise in all close relationships.

Start now with a low cost ‘Committed Partner Breakthrough‘ session

During your low cost “Committed Partner Breakthrough Session” we will:

  • Create a sense of clarity about the relationship you really want to have.
  • Find out the essential building blocks for having the relationship of your dreams.
  • Discover the number one thing stopping you from having the relationship you want and deserve.
  • Identify the most powerful actions that will move you toward the relationship of your dreams.
  • Complete our session with the excitement of knowing EXACTLY what to do next to attract a committed partner who truly loves you for who you are!

You will be guided through the steps for setting up your low cost session when you click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button below:

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