Communicating in Relationships – Keep on Talking

Article by Judy Mosley

 

Being an introvert, I often find that by the end of the day, I feel like I’ve run out of words.  I don’t want to talk anymore.  I will gladly listen, but I may not want to respond.  At least, that’s how I feel.

 

But, even when I don’t feel like talking, I have to talk.  I can’t keep from talking. Because talking not only helps me fulfill my own needs, but serves to help the needs of those around me.

 

Now, we may understand that there are better ways of communicating to those around us … but we may not know how to do that.  In living my own life, these are some things that I have to keep in mind, whether I am talking to my husband, my children, my parents, or the cashier in the checkout aisle:

 

Be honest

This is meant to be instructive in two ways … First, many people pretend that being honest gives them the liberty, even the right, to say things that are absolutely outrageous.  I believe that you can say absolutely anything if you say it in a way that isn’t disrespectful to the person that you are speaking to.  

 

But some things should never be said. It’s not being “honest,” it’s called being rude and hurtful … and I would say that most of us know the difference if they are “honest” with themselves. 

 

Second, many people (I raise my hand) tend to hide the way that they really feel about a situation or a discussion.  They try to mask it.  When asked how they feel about something or if they are feeling okay, they might give a half-hearted or an answer that avoids the whole subject … whether it is out of concern for the other person, fear of not being “liked,” or something in between. But the truth is that it’s important to be honest about what is really going on inside of you if you are going to resolve a conflict or grow as a person.

 

Keep body language open and clear

Last night, my husband and I were in a discussion and we were talking about something that he had said that I perceived as hurtful.

 

As I listened to him clarify his statement, I realized that my body language was not inviting or open.  I had my back to him and I really didn’t want to turn around.  But I knew that he wouldn’t feel as if I were listening to him if I didn’t change my body language.  So I turned around and looked him in the eyes while he spoke.  I didn’t want to, but it did help to take the pressure out of the situation.

 

So … be aware of your body and what “messages” it could be sending to those that you are speaking with.

 

Ask for clarity

The statement that my husband had made hurt me.  But when I asked what he really meant, I discovered that what he said didn’t have much to do with me at all.  What he was talking about was so much more than what I realized and he hadn’t meant to hurt me at all.  When I realized this, I was able to let go of the hurt that I was feeling and move forward.

 

Keep pushing

Finances can be a hard topic in any household, including our household … and not for the reasons that most people think.

 

Growing up, math was literally an emotionally painful subject for me.  I hated it.  So as an adult, I find it hard to sit with my husband and have a conversation about a subject that has everything to do with math, numbers, addition, subtraction and so much more.

 

But what I’ve learned is that when I stay in the discussion, no matter how uncomfortable it feels, I make it through … and what I need to talk about is heard.

 

So stay in it!  It may hurt, but if you can move forward, you will grow and get through it.

 

Keep talking.

 

The relationships that we have are so very important.  We need to remember that these are not battles to fight, but people to love.  Keep this in mind and you might be pleasantly surprised…

 

“Thinking: The talking of the soul with itself.”
-Plato

 

“Sometimes it is a great joy just to listen to someone we love talking to.”
-Vincent McNabb, God’s Way of Mercy

 

“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he’s talking about.”
-Sam Ewig

 

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Posted on 31 August, 2009 in Happiness, Making the Day Count, Motivation
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