Keys to More Connected, Effective Communication, Part One

WELCOME! 

Last week’s post focused on some important principles and strategies that support getting more of what you need and deserve in your romantic relationships.

This week and next I would like to focus on some general communication principles that will benefit all of your relationships, especially that precious one you share with your partner or if you are dating, your potential partner.

The ideas and principles presented in the following discussion are intended to be more than mere ‘food for thought’.  My intention is to inspire you to:

  • think about your relationship experiences and
  • take action to improve the quality of your relationship life.

Before diving into the content of this post, I would like to share a very empowering principle of learning that Bill Baren repeatedly emphasizes with his business and marketing students. 

“Information without implementation is clutter.”

My intention is to provide you with ideas, principles, and strategies that you can integrate into your daily life by trying out some new ways of thinking and behaving.

This will require you to get into some uncomfortable, imperfect action.

Trying out different ways of thinking and behaving takes courage, patience, and support.

Please be gentle and loving toward yourself. 

You can attain your relationship goals.

Here we go!

To allow my busy readers sufficient time to digest, reflect and apply the general communication principles and tips I would like to share, I decided to divide this post into two posts: one for this week and one for next week..

When it comes to effective, non-injurious communication I have found the following ideas and ‘rules of engagement’ to be useful:

This week’s post:

  • Relationships by definition require ‘relating’
  • Always own your feelings
  • Always acknowledge and validate feelings expressed by another

Next week’s post:

  • Be eager to understand very slow to judge
  • Enjoy more peace and fulfillment by learning to make requests instead of demands
  • Be willing to compromise
  • ‘Closure’ or the feeling of completion is a process and not an event
  • Patience, patience, and more patience

Remember:

“Information without implementation is clutter.”

Relationships by definition require ‘relating’

Unfortunately we sometimes lose sight of this ‘fundamental truth’.

When disagreements arise it is far too easy to just agree to things that really don’t meet us and to simply avoid the topic in the future.

The ‘school of relationship hard knocks’ has taught me that the more doors I close through avoiding talking about ‘difficult topics’ the less empowered or in control I feel.  This can lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness, and even depression.

I believe that the deliberate, albeit gradual narrowing, of ‘topics that are open to discussion’ is one of the most salient causes for the high and rising divorce rate.

A call to action:

I invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on what I just shared and to make a list of topics that you have been avoiding talking about with your partner.

Then, set a time to discuss the least ‘challenging topic’ with your partner.

You may even ask your partner to read this post.

I encourage you to take the time and put forth the energy to keep as many avenues of communication open.  The love you save may be the most precious blessing of this life.

Always own your feelings

Never lose sight of the fact that your feelings are yours.

The difference between sharing your feelings and imposing them on others can be subtle.  Us humans can come up with an almost infinite number of ways to justify our little tirades.

Truth be known, I still fall into this trap from time to time.

Learning to truly own your feelings will take time, vigilance, patience, and self-love.  I encourage you enlist professional help if you struggle in this area.

Always acknowledge and validate feelings expressed by another

I would like the men reading this post to really tune into this section.

Feelings are powerful and if they are not properly managed they can cause tremendous stress, physical illness, and absolutely ravage the connection between two human beings.

Once the dam breaks, there is no stopping the flow of water from the reservoir to the area below.  This is the case when two people fail to manage their emotions.

The damage to their precious relationship eventually gets to the point where neither party has the energy, patience, or other capacities required to put their relationship back together.  Too much ‘water’ has flowed under the ‘proverbial bridge’.

Fortunately emotions can be managed. 

I recommend trying the following:

  • Learn to recognize when your partner is sharing their feelings
  • Acknowledge their feelings, without judgment
  • Validate their feelings by simply acknowledging them

So guys, the next time your gal backs up the proverbial ‘dump truck’ and tries to share her feelings, do yourself and her a big favor and just listen.

Give her the space to express herself. 

This does not mean that you agree.

Agreement or disagreement is an intellectual process that comes after the feelings are:

Recognized, Acknowledged, and Validated.

Once the mutual emotions between two people in an intimate relationship are properly managed, a rational discussion of the issues, facts, priorities, etc relevant to the situation at hand can be effectively conducted.

The process of ‘validating feelings

Validating a person’s feelings simply means to give them full permission to feel the way that they do.  There can be no judgment, no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ no ‘justified’ or ‘not justified’. 

Feeling just are.

Please take a moment and really let this in.

I would like the women reading this post to really tune into this section.

Men have feelings too, even if they seem to rarely acknowledge or share them.

One reason why men have more difficulty getting in touch with and sharing their feelings may rest in the structure and priorities of western culture.

Western cultures, especially our own, tend to be very materially oriented and therefore result driven.

Men are expected to be problem solvers.

This requires being objective, which in turn requires analytical, logical, rationale thinking.

Men are therefore encouraged to put far less emphases on their emotions.

As men, our natural tendency is to jump in and try and solve ‘the problem’ and, at least for the moment, minimize or even ignore the feelings associated with it.

After ‘the problem’ is addressed, the feelings associated with the situation tend to be forgotten about or inadequately dealt with.

Add to this, the rapidly advancing computer and communication technologies that can tend depersonalize the connection between all humans and it is easy to understand why emotional connection can be challenging.

Past emotional trauma and emotional connection

Emotional trauma can really complicate the capacity to fully experience and express emotions.  This is true for both men and women.

If a person has experienced significant emotional trauma in their life, the forceful expression of feelings can be very unsettling.

My coaching friend, Rachel Grant, helps women who have suffered emotional trauma as a result of sexual abuse.

I have provided a link to Rachel’s site below:

http://www.rachelgrantcaching.com/

Well that’s all for now!

I hope you found this post inspiring and useful.

Be sure to tune in next week for part two! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment »

Comment by stephen light
July 18, 2012 @ 1:38 am

Morning Ron

I read this post with great interest. I love the simplicity of acknowledging your partners feelings and this is where I fall down. I have an inner self that gets triggered when things don’t go my way and he isn’t open to others views. Simplicity is the key.

Thank you
Love & Courage
Stephen Light


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