- I tend to shy away from giving relationship advice because I do not believe that any 2 relationships are the same. If no 2 persons in this world are the same then it stands to reason that when 2 unique persons come together, then there can be no other relationship exactly like that one. However, we can have similar experiences. Any advice (even that which I am about to give) must be taken and tailored to your own circumstances.
- I am not a guru on this subject matter. I am writing this from the perspective of my own experience which has taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons. Or as Dr. Margaret Paul puts it “Relationships can be the PhD. of personal growth!”
- In my desperation to resolve my own challenges, I have read some good and eye-opening books. Reading alone has never solved any of my issue. The books provided the insight but I had to take action. That is, I had to do something – whether it was changing my viewpoint or saying that I was sorry.
Why do we want to be in a relationship?
Eventually we will experience some kind of hurt. Whether we get offended or our trust is betrayed. So why do we bother?
We do it because love is the most profound emotion known to human beings. Our relationships are the most meaningful thing we have. We hope that the good will far outweigh the bad.
We have to make a conscious and committed effort to learn and perfect the skills necessary to make our relationships thrive. One such skill is communication.
One key ingredient to any lasting union is communication. Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behaviour. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or more living creatures.
What do you do when in your opinion you have ‘communicated’ so effectively and all you get in return is silence? If you are lucky, you’ll get a blank stare or a dismissive grunt. I have been in that situation on several occasions and it took every ounce of my being not to lose it and get all crazy – or should I say crazier? These are the times when I just have to rock back in the Holy Spirit and draw for a next gear. Sounds familiar?
Below are 6 strategies that I use to improve the communication in my relationship.
- I check the tone of my voice. We know this, it’s nothing new. We know that it’s not what we say, but how we say it.
- I check my body language. Most times we come off as attaching (hands on hips, pointing finger) like we are going to war. Then we shouldn't be shocked when the other person gets defensive. At these points there is no room for any productive communication.
- I stop and think about what I am about to say. Yes, you read correctly. This one is still a work in progress for me. Too often, we make our tongues control us and we end up saying things that we regret.
- I try to always be genuine and honest. We should set the precedence from day one. In the dating stages of our relationships, we tend to put on ears and then as times goes on we find it difficult to keep up the act and our true colors start shining through.
- I assess the situation to see how I contributed to the situation. We may think that we are perfect and that we can do no wrong in our relationships. It’s always someone else's fault. Sorry to break it to you – none of us are perfect and no matter how hard we may try, we will never be. We all make mistakes.
- I apologize. This is especially hard when we don't immediately see where we went wrong.
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Dare to believe in the power of you and cheers to living a victorious life!