Communication in relationships is one of the biggest challenges today. Whenever you put two people together in a relationship they each bring different values, beliefs, expectations, history, education, agendas, goals, personality style, communication style, feelings, life outlook and old baggage. It is difficult at best to communicate effectively with another person even without all of these differences. The key to better communication in a relationship is recognizing these differences and a willingness to be flexible, accepting, understanding and non-judgmental of the other person's views, opinions or communication style. Granted this is not always an easy task.
There are many causes of poor communication in relationships. Let's look at just two this week. Almost always the root of communication difficulty can be found in any one of the previous areas. But I recommend before you look at your partner for some of the causes of your communication problems that you look in the mirror. Scary thought? Possibly. Necessary? YES, if you want to begin to make progress improving communication with someone with whom you have a lot of conflict.
This first step in improving communication with another person is to look inward rather than outward for the cause of your communication difficulties. Since we all tend to 'fall in love' with our own stuff, this is usually not easy. Most of us are doing the best we can with what we have at our disposal at the present time. Remember, when you judge another person you are saying more about who you are than who they are. You are defining your own prejudices and opinions when you choose to see the problem with another person as only their fault.
The second cause of communication is projection, seeing the other person's issues, faults, problems, fears, needs, etc. as theirs when often they are really yours in disguise. We tend to criticize in others those things we do but are not willing to see or admit.
Relationship quote for the week: Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding. Proverbs 3:13
Have a great month. Tim.