People make a huge mistake when communicating. Huge! HUGE!
After you understand that men and women communicate quite differently, intimate relationships are easier. If we learn, however, how to communicate like a dog, those same relationships grow even stronger.
But we don’t just make this HUGE communication mistake when we are talking to our significant other. With each ongoing relationship, it is important to learn the natural communication style of the listener. Once that is down pat, communication with anyone is easier and more effective.
There is still a HUGE communication problem.
The problem isn’t that we don’t know how to communicate properly that makes us fail at communicating. Brace yourself because I’m going to tell you the big problem.
We don’t communicate.
Yes, that was the earth-shattering revelation.
People half-heartedly listen to conversations or totally ignore each other. Often the woman is a set of non-stop blabbing lips speaker and the man is a brick wall listener. Communication isn’t happening. One won’t shut up and the other won’t listen.
Then what happens?
The silent treatment. Sleeping in the doghouse. Storming out of the house. Arguing. Screaming. Sleeping back to each other. Ignoring phone calls. Deleting texts.
In a less intimate relationship, the non-communicators stop every attempt at talking to each other. All phone calls go to voice mail. No lunch meetings. Job changes are made to get away from each other. Any semblance of a relationship dies.
Listening attentively is a skill, but it starts with a DESIRE to listen. Where there isn’t mutual respect, the desire to communicate doesn’t exist. In a marriage, lack of communication is like a dagger to the heart of the relationship. When sharing stops, the marriage ends. Maybe the people stay together because “something is better than nothing” and they settle, but the marriage as a true bond dies. Not many things are worse than a marriage ending. It is full of sadness and a loss of dreams. I know because I’ve been there.
I value a solid two way conversation and put it high on the list of important things in a relationship – any relationship. Let me tell you one personal story for you to ponder that illustrates the importance of valuing communication.
I will start by saying that I love my dad and miss him desperately since his death. I’m so glad that during the last seven years of his life we patched our relationship. All was forgiven and I cherished every second of his presence and voice coming over the phone line. I seriously can’t tell you how much I miss his phone calls. So bearing that in mind, I will share this story with you.
When I was young and my parents were married, Dad would get home from work at 5:00 p.m. every day. Like a good wife, my mother had dinner waiting on the table for him as soon as he walked in the door. My inner clock was programmed for him to come home at the same time each day and I would wait with anticipation for Dad to walk through the front door.
The key in the door would click and I would run as fast as possible to greet Dad as he walked into the house. I grabbed his leg with both arms and hugged him with all my might. Dad would walk into the house dragging me on his leg and never say a word. He never swooped me up in his arms. He never leaned down and kissed my face. He didn’t ruffle my red bouncy curls. Dad just kept walking and ignored my presence on his leg. When he sat down at the table, I obviously had to let go of my grip, but I had been completely ignored.
That experience along with a few others is why I feel communication, sincere communication, is vital in a relationship. Being ignored can crush a soul and lead to a lifelong journey of low self-esteem. For me, if my dad didn’t think I was worth acknowledging and listening to, my “brain” thought that I must not have much value.
There is a fine line between brick wall hearing and non-stop blabbing lips. Neither is right, but both can be corrected by simply having the desire to communicate.
Honestly, I can still feel the material of his pants leg on my cheek as I clutched him so tightly and begged in my heart for his attention. Obviously, now that I’m grown, I like to be greeted at the door wholeheartedly just the same as I wholeheartedly greet people who come through my door. Maybe that is why I’m such a hugger. Hmmm…I never thought of that aspect of my affections.
How important do you think communication is in a relationship? If you have brick wall hearing or blabbing lips, do you see the impact your behavior has on the relationships that you engage in each day? I’d love to hear your thoughts.