Clients very often contact me because of their strained relationships.
Whether with spouses, family members or friends, when relationships go sour it’s usually because we believe our communication broke down.
We then do our best to try & learn new & effective ways to improve the way we verbally interact with those around.
We buy books, enrol on courses, get professional help hoping to find the key to master the art of communication.
What we rarely realise is that communication does work if the relationship is on track.
But when it’s off track, talking things over often ends up in more confusion and ill feelings.
Clear communication is not a “free pass” for great relationships, as erroneously believed.
Think of all your attempts to talk to your partner or children while entertaining belligerent thoughts?
How did that go?
Not well, I’d imagine!
You may even have been able to have the upper hand, yet I’m sure you didn’t walk away feeling things were settled!
The reason people can’t talk to each other rarely lies in the way they talk but in the feelings hidden behind their words.
Communication is simply an empty container that holds whatever feelings you throw in.
So while the “talking bit” usually takes care of itself, feelings need to be tended to.
The communication bank
Think of your relationships as some sort of personal banking system, with feelings being the currency.
Your precious little pot has a nice balance when the level of goodwill between you and others is constant and generally high.
Good feeling after good feeling, you are going to make that little pot grow larger and larger.
But whenever you have a ill feeling you are lowering you savings.
The worse the feeling the bigger the withdraw, till you are absolutely skint.
It makes sense then how communication can either enrich your relations or deplete them.
Silence is best at times
I usually recommend my clients to go home, stop talking and find a nice feeling for each other again.
But what about the “we must talk!” ?
It will have to wait, because if both parties are in a low mood they could be talking the same language and still need a translator!
When we are feeling down or insecure we generally want to have that famous chat hoping it will turn things around. We hope that by taking it all out we’ll see something new.
But we rarely do, purely because our mind is cluttered with all the thinking we have about the issue.
All the should, should nots and “how dare they?”.
It make sense then to just allow our mind to clear and create some space between us and what’s troubling, doesn’t it?
When our mind is quieter we’ll be in a higher spirit and the issue will not look the same, however slightly.
So rather than vent it out when we are not feeling great, it’s definitely more beneficial to just opt for silence instead.
Once in a better mood, the quality of our thinking will improve too and our thoughts will feel more hopeful.
What we need is a change of heart
Nice thoughts & feelings are just as real as the negative ones that drive people apart, if not even more real!
Bad thoughts are always associated with fears of the future and negative memories of the past, so nothing good will ever come from them.
When we let our mind rest, our spirit lifts and we are more likely to “have a change of heart.”
At that moment we can see passed our troublesome thinking and find new possibilities for our relationships.
It’s only when our hearts do the talking that we truly connect to others, both enriching them and letting them enrich us.
Wrapping it up:
- if you have lost “the good feeling” for your loved ones, refrain from wanting to talk things through when you are feeling down
- if a conversation must happen, watch for the level of closeness between you and the other person. If at any point you feel like you are heading nowhere, STOP & TAKE A BREAK FROM EACH OTHER !
- whenever we are in a low mood, the poor quality of our thinking will effect the words will choose to communicate
- moods always go up and down during the day so it is OK to wait to feel better before talking things though
- if we let our mind clear, our thought will naturally change and start feeling lighter
- when that happens it’s easier to share good thoughts and feelings
- MORE LOVELY FEELINGS LESS NEED TO TALK!!!
Would you like to learn how your thinking can be both very compelling and deceiving?
My coaching program Evoking Grace will offer you inspiring and effective ways to deal with everyday challenges while keeping your cool.
Blog originally published here.