communication

Don't Talk it Out

Maybe you are like me and when you find yourself in conflict you want to work it out right away?!

I have found over the years that there are many times when this is just not the best idea.

Why?

Because talking it out with the person who you are in conflict with isn’t always the most efficient or even effective strategy to get needs met.

Dangerous Assumptions

In working with hundreds of people over the years, and of course being human myself, the issue of assumptions has come up again and again as a great source of disconnection and suffering.  We have explored some key assumptions that seem to be particularly troublesome.

I Want to Kill the Cat!

Last week I walked out to the pond in the morning to feed the fish as I always do.  I immediately noticed the plant that was astray and then looked down to see a fish on the cement, pretty ripped up and obviously dead.

I became a bit frantic, immediately called Steve who wasn’t there, hung up and screamed, “I want to kill the cat!”

Some important additional information required here:

What if They Don’t Want To?

When people approach me to do coaching (or come to a workshop) because they want a more satisfying partnership relationship, one of the first concerns I hear is, “What if my partner won’t come?”  

My answer has always been, “It isn’t necessary.”  Creating a satisfying relationship —if you want one, is your job.”  That response is usually met with disbelief, and the relationship remains the same.

Shop Your List, Not the Store

When I saw this title on a blog post I read, delivered to me from one of my favorite websites – Food 52, I immediately thought - oh yes, this is what I say to people over and over about relationships.  

Compassion vs. Power?

Sometimes when someone is doing something we don’t like, we find it very difficult to are about why they are doing/saying it, and we find it very easy to label them as wrong.  Some things are just so awful to hurtful to us, we lose our capacity to react any other way.

Has this happened to you? You really want to understand what motivated someone to do something —you sometimes even think you are trying to understand what motivated someone to do something.  Your voice is pleasant, you insist that you really are curious.  Yet, when it comes down to it, you really are furious, or disappointed, maybe full of despair.   If you were able to slow it down enough and check in, you would be able to notice it.

The Sweet Spot

One of our deepest needs is connection, and a sense of belonging with each other.  And we struggle so much creating that experience with a great deal of the people we know, including our partners, family, friends, and co-workers.  Somehow we find ourselves upset, frustrated, confused, and disappointed, over and over.

How can this be?  Our most important human need is so challenging to experience.

Let’s use the short answer.

Ouch.

Yesterday I was having a coffee (well, I had the carrot salad and fizzy water) with a friend.  This is Kim, a kindred spirit who I am inspired by and with and feel grateful when it works out that we can hang out.  We were catching up after her travels; she was on a journey with one of her mentors/spiritual teachers in Mexico.

Our conversation was lovely and lively, and was running deep.

And then, I noticed a shift. It was ever so slight, a move in my seat, a twitch in my face, a noticing of a mild ‘unpleasant’. 

I Can't Hear You

Has this ever happened to you?

You are having an important conversation with your partner (or friend, or co-worker or parent) and it is crystal clear that they (consistently) aren’t understanding what you are saying?  You believe they aren’t listening, or they are taking what you say too personally.   They get upset when you think they shouldn’t.  You are feeling frustrated.  You are certain that you are communicating clearly.  How could they be misunderstanding you again?  Possibly you have tried to have a particular conversation before and run into similar situation.  Possibly it happens regularly. 

It’s all too annoying.

Fireworks.

Sexual chemistry is fun.  Our neurological and biochemical response to meeting a mate haven’t evolved much in the past 13,000 years. When you meet a person you like and who likes you, and has the promise of forever, biochemically, your body is telling you that you are safe.

In this day and age, it is often difficult to think in those kinds of practical terms. You just get happy.

Naughty or Nice? You Have Another Option

This kind of black and white thinking rules us.  We learn it from young.  You might get a gift from Santa if you are nice, be good or do what your parents want you to do.  

However continuing this practice of doing what someone else wants you to do, or ‘because it is nice’ (or good, or right) will only lead you to relationships filled with confusion and resentment.  

Holiday Haste + Holiday Waste ~ Be Mindful of your Relationships During the Holidays.

From Halloween through til New Years, we are bombarded with images of houses to decorate, parties to either perfectly host or joyfully participate in, hundreds of gifts to buy, including gifts to have in your closet so you can give a gift to someone you don’t know well enough to buy a real gift for yet have a gift for them if they happen into your home.  Don’t forget all these gifts require wrapping—thank goodness for gift bags and tissue paper.  Food shopping, traveling, organizing pet sitting, and the rest of it.

Weekend Regrets

Weekend Regrets

This week I have the opportunity to mourn some interactions I had over the weekend.  

What does that mean? 

It means that I had some experiences that I feel less than excited about.  In the moment they were a bit awkward.  I was feeling a bit confused, and disappointed, even a little sad in the moment.  Very aware that I wished ‘it’ was different.

Awkward Conversations. Yes, you must have them.

There are a wide variety of what could be considered awkward conversations that couples and soon-to-be couples can have. In my opinion the sooner you have them, the more likelihood the relationship will work out.  What makes them awkward, of course, is complicated.  It depends on the people in the relationship, what they want, their individual communication skills, and communication compatibility as a couple.

Let’s start with this one.  

What's Your Evidence?

Are you telling people what you think using language that masquerades your story as truth?

I believe the quality of your life depends on a few things, one being the language you use and the words you say.  For that reason I offered you this question.  I think with a few tweaks here and there in what you say, you will feel more free, more open, more empowered in your life.