How To Open The Lines Of Communication In Your Relationships
As a parent, I would sometimes find myself struggling in the moment to find the words to respond in the way I want vs. the way I've been programmed. When the inevitable mistake or misunderstanding happens, my innate and conditioned response is to want to ask 'why' which produces some autopilot answer in reply and so the cycle continues...
The cycle of not really understanding what happened nor creating space to understand or be understood. The cycle of making judgments and labels based on partial information. The cycle of perpetuating shame or fear because Their actions, level of understanding, or level of experience in that moment didn’t match up with someone else expectations or experience. The cycle of breaking down communication in a relationship by not offering the other person an opportunity to actually communicate.
It’s in these moments that the true meaning of our practices come in handy; the lessons that surface from meditation, from the mat, from breaking down old beliefs and patterns, from 'doing the work’... It’s in these moments that I remember to find my breath. It’s in these moments that I remember the compassion I’ve cultivated for myself and my own mistakes over the years and offer that to my Little. It’s in these moments that I remember how challenging ass experiences, or situations that make us uncomfortable, are our opportunities to break the cycle and create something new.
Some alternatives to open the door of communication instead of asking why:
What was going though your mind when ___.
Tell me what you thought might happen when ____.
What were you trying to do/accomplish when ___.
Alternatively, these don’t just open the lines of communication in parent/ child relationships. These questions can be used in any relationship where there’s been a breakdown and we want to open the door for restoration and for everyone to have their voices heard.
Over to you, what’s one practice you use to help you communicate clearly and effectively with those around you? Share it with us in the comments.