Let’s talk about it!
When discussing life with your significant other, you should be able to speak freely. You have a relationship built on similar morals and a good trust in each other’s beliefs. You’re open communicators who don’t have to hide thoughts or feelings from each other. Because you know each other inside and out. That’s the beauty of being in a committed relationship or marriage. When aligned with your other half, you have each other’s backs 100%. If you hear alarm bells ringing while reading this and you think, “I don’t have this in my relationship,” then don’t panic. Many people are not as open in their relationships with their communication, and many don’t know their other half as well as they thought. It’s ok because growth can happen, as long as there is mutual respect, and the will to grow.
If your other half tells you to keep your thoughts or feelings to yourself, they are closed to your ideas; they struggle with your decisions and have the inability to accept you as your authentic self then discontinue the relationship. Unless they work on themselves, it’s going to be an uphill battle where disappointment is the conclusion for all involved. This person is closed off from knowing who you truly are and your relationship is going to be full of difficulty that’s going to end in resentment and toxicity. Lust alone and superficial honeymoon love will not hold this relationship together. As I interpret what Jay Shetty says in his book 8 Rules of Love. Love is like a flower. Those who want to cut it and put it in water admire its beauty, but it’s temporary. Permanent love is like the tender care that goes into growing a plant, watering it, fertilising it and watching it bloom. I really like this analogy because it highlights the difference between a superficial love that doesn’t last and true love, which goes the distance. I touch on love in this blog due to how it affects our communication. Communication without love is a recipe for disaster.
This week I’m opening up to you about the healthy debate, differences of opinion and conflict management within your relationship.
If you consider yourself a communication wizard. It’s on your resume, colleagues respect you, and you manage people easily. Of course, this makes you an ace communicator. But does it? Being around those we work with is vastly different from being a great communicator within an intimate relationship. In fact, we behave much better around those we work with. With our significant other, we are vulnerable and sometimes left unchecked.
There is an art to communication, especially in your relationship. What we say in our relationships should always foster the growth of love. Even though a relationship gets tough, love is still a cornerstone. Love is respect, honesty, and kindness. It’s not self-gratifying. Now, if we were all perfect, relationships and communication would be easy, but indeed, we are not.
Think of a controversial topic. A topic of conversation that you have a strong conviction in. You are passionate about it, your beliefs around it are firm and perhaps it’s a topic that bothers you because it crosses a moral boundary of yours. The first thing to know is that not everyone is going to share the same views as you. That’s fine! Just remember, being respectful and accepting of differences is part of being a great communicator. You need to know when to step back from the discussion. Is what I’m saying causing emotional harm to the other party and are my words attacking or insulting the person I love? If they are, you’re showing your significant other your selfish behaviour. You are sinking to the lowest denominator, which is an insult because you do not have the emotional intelligence at that point in time to withhold from an emotional attack as you’re wound up in your own self-gratification process. When this occurs and trust me, it happens in relationships either passively or aggressively. You should straight away pull yourself up and apologise. Because you’ve let it get out of hand and are being harmful to those you care about.
For example, my family had strong views on a lot of different topics. I grew up in a devout Catholic home and this affected my own views of life. My parents are still together and about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year. I would say that witnessing them grow together in their faith as they were both non-practising Christians when they met. Seeing authentic love bloom even through their struggles gave me a great understanding of what true authentic love is. Sure, my parents were not perfect. My parents disagreed, argued and said words to hurt. However, they always apologised and talked to us kids about it.
If you are rearing children in an environment where a conversation gets out of hand in front of them and you use insults. Then you are teaching your child that insulting behaviour is ok in conflict. If you choose not to apologise when using insulting language, then this is a red flag and shows that your pride and self-gratification are more important than those you love. You are hurting the person you are raising your children with and, in turn, hurting your children. You are teaching them poor resolution conflict, that’s going to need undoing in their adult life. Save your kids from therapy and get it right!
From this blog I want you to take away:
- Communicate within your relationship and in front of your children with love.
- Apologising is the key to healing and growth.
- If you’re going to say regretful comments, stop and let it go.
- True love is like a plant. Take care of it!
- Be open and authentic
Every day, we should strive to be better people. We should be open to growth and communicating with love.
And perhaps just remember, if we have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all!
Have a great week, and happy communicating.