Part 2, Read Part 1
Changing your communication style
The first step is to know that just being a human being, you are entitled to be heard. For that to happen, you must value who you are and your right to have your needs and wants addressed. If your esteem is low, or your voice isn’t carrying the message, it’s time to brush up on your self-image and learn different communication skills. These skills will change your whole life.
Here is an example of poor communication and its far reaching consequences. I’ve counseled countless people who have had or are having affairs because they are not getting the sexual stimulation and satisfaction they need. They may have hinted or even directly expressed their unhappiness with the state of their sex life, however, their needs fell on deaf ears. After a while, something is going to happen as that discontent increases over time. Sexual hunger can be a terrible thing to endure. And the message is that your needs don’t count.
In today’s world, it is too easy to satisfy that hunger elsewhere but at what cost? When people end up in my office they are most often carrying shame, confusion, anger. And their partners feel like victims having been betrayed, when they trusted the contract of monogamy. Someone wasn’t listening. Someone wasn’t speaking in a way that impacted their partner.
There are so many issues that fester unresolved when you don’t have the communication path to discuss and resolve them. And, anger and resentment have a cumulative effect which leaves chasms between people.
Are you satisfied with the way money is handled in your personal relationship? Who is making it and who is spending it? Do you have workable agreements about that very big topic? Are you happy with the balance of power or is the one in charge of decisions the one with the loudest voice or the one who withholds connection? Are chores shared to your satisfaction? Are you presenting a united front to the children so you don’t divide loyalty and are effective parents? Are you making time spent together fun and loving? Do you make each other feel special and important? Are you both comfortable with the way you deal with family issues?
While it sounds simplistic, healthy communication boils down to the ability to share with the people in your life in a way that optimizes your being heard. When you are doing your part respectfully and honestly, then you have a much better chance at having your message received. Then it is up to you to receive the response with the same kind of respect you need.
When you come away with a sense that the other person really “gets” your way of thinking and why something is important to you, and you also take the time to understand where they are coming from, together you can make your decisions as loving partners. In a workplace situation, your employee may have ideas you didn’t think of. And you will be building a respectful space between you. As boss you still have the final word; however, you’ve made the other person feel valued by asking their opinion or in the least speaking to them with respect.
As a therapist you might expect I would tout the benefit of finding a good therapist to heal wounds and find your voice to speak your truth. When two people feel good about themselves and begin to hear the deeper voice in their partner, that is when the magic of intimate connection happens. Like most of my colleagues, I teach the way to communicate that transforms relationships. It revives the good feelings that got lost in the morass of issues between them. The couple, or the family members, or the friends now have a way to discuss those issues and begin to interact with mutual understanding and respect.
In my office
Teaching the art of communication…well that’s the stuff of a great day for me. I watch the faces as they begin to take in who the other is and what that means to them. The look that flows between them as they each feel seen and heard, the safety and sacred space that emanates from such loving communication, allows for their deeper selves to emerge and opens them to a connection that surpasses their expectations.
When you are “seen” by your partner, you don’t need the mask of defenses any longer. You can begin to trust the bond you are creating through your new heartfelt communication
Some people who come to me are anticipating the ultimate ending ot their relationship. Once they begin to speak from their longing and hear with their compassion, their lives change dramatically. Everyone in their world will experience their difference because listening and speaking with respect creates a life of wonderful moments of connection.
Don’t lose yourself in a relationship, letting years go by in an unsatisfactory life, when learning how to speak up effectively can change all that! Knowing how to respond paves the way for healthy relating. It’s a contribution to a world sorely in need of good listeners and respectful communicators.
I love helping people blossom and relationships flower and flourish. There is no good reason to live in mediocrity when this kind of work is available to you! Find this path to living effectively, and, enrich your days on this earth.
Did my communication get through to you? Lose the fear of speaking up or the compulsion to speak down. We are all human beings wanting to be understood and respected.