Another blog about communication? We are communicating about communication for the 7th time. This must be an important topic or I am an incredibly redundant communicator.
To read the first 6 entries, click on the links below:
Communication can occur in many ways:
- People can talk about the day; “how was your day?”
- They can address feelings as part of that day; “I was really angry at my boss today…”
- They can share more personally; “The reason I was angry at my boss is he had that smug look on his face like my dad did”.
- They can share their deepest darkest feelings “that look, that smugness, I wanted to slap it off of him, like how my dad slapped me, how he beat me, how he embarrassed me in front of my friends, all with that look”
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#008000″ class=”” size=””]in order to have intimacy you have to be vulnerable[/pullquote]
To go from superficial to intimate requires a loving, trusting relationship. It requires that the listener listen and be able to hear what’s being said. The listener needs to be nonjudgmental and be unconditional. The speaker has to know that what they are saying is safe. They have to know that it will be heard and not used against them in a future fight. If he or she is able to take the risk they will have the intimacy and closeness that is necessary in a good healthy, stable relationship.
This is really risky and it is WAY easier to have superficial, a little off the top relationships. It is even easier to tell people what they want to hear, and take no risks at all. In this video from Grammy Award winner Tracy Bonham, she tells the mother what she wants to hear:
In this conversation between mother and daughter, the daughter gives all of the right answers. She tells her mom, how great she is doing, how “everything’s fine” . She is able to be authentic and personal with the audience as she tells us all of he pain. It is only at the end of the song when she says “I miss you I love you” is she communicating in a genuine way.
We ultimately get to chose the quality of our relationships. Do we want the mother -daughter relationship in “Mother Mother” or do we want something else? If we want something else, then it requires healthy risk taking. It requires having the communication skills to handle the storms that may occur–the misperceptions, the arguments, the conflicts. It requires speaking in ways that our partners can hear. It requires the hardest skill of all, listening.
If we listen and we trust, our relationships can grow. They can grow deeper, and become more meaningful. Meaningful interpersonal relationships are what we need to be good people, to have a good quality of life, and have inner peace. It starts with the risk.
Change is possible.