Tag Archives: Communication

5 Things People Do Wrong In Relationships.

16 Aug
Resolving Conflict

Illustrated by Clementine Sourdais.

1. We focus on what’s wrong rather than acknowledging and growing what’s right.

Ruminating on annoyances never makes them magically disappear. Instead we need to consciously manage our own reactions, responses and behaviours by curiously wondering what gets triggered within us when we feel wronged or annoyed. Or we could choose to just step away and skip merrily on our way, sidestepping obstacles. The more we involve ourselves in tasks that propel us forward and make us feel good, the better. See if you can stop, breath, count to five and remind yourself of the value your loved ones add to your life.

2. We criticise rather than praise behaviours or affirm competence.

Think about how it feels when you have your less than fabulous traits pointed out to you in a way that doesn’t invite healthy discussion or kind creative solutions. Generally speaking people are more ready to give negative feedback than positive, and are likely to tell all who will listen about bad service rather than yell thanks from the rooftops about great service. Let’s all aim to spread more kindness around. Acknowledge. Affirm. Praise. Give thanks. Write a 5 star review.

3. Negative emotions are so much easier to grab at when we feel threatened. 

It’s important to stay resourced, rested and care for ourselves in ways that don’t run us ragged or make us righteous, stubborn or argumentative. Being tired and run down seemingly “allows” anger to spill over. Flowing lava burns people. Choose how, when and if you use it. Think about the consequences. If someone crosses your boundary, it’s really ok to just state something simple such as “I’m not ok with that.” Or “It’s not ok to talk to me like that.” Or invite the other person to communicate respectfully by asking “Could you please say that in a way that makes me want to listen.” Be encouraging and hopeful of change. If change doesn’t occur, reassess what you are doing and be brave enough to sidestep situations or people who don’t enrich your being.

4. We don’t always behave in respectful ways or treat others the way we would like to be treated.

Disrespect can sneak in a number of ways from how we talk to each other, to how we listen, right down to emotional or sexual betrayal. The rule of thumb is this. If you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t say it or do it. Reach into the magic hat and pull out new ways of communicating. If you don’t want your words or actions viewed by people you care about, it’s a sure sign to stop and find an alternative. If you truly feel you don’t want to be around someone, reassess how much time you spend together,  or walk away and consider how or if it serves either of you to stay connected.

5. We don’t take self-responsibility and explore what gets activated in us when we feel hurt and angry.

If you consistently use anger as a first response, see if hurt lies underneath it. Be aware of what is likely to trigger you. Are you hungry, lonely, tired or unresourced? Did you step over your own boundary and seek engagement when you would’ve fared better taking time out? Do you need more solitude and self-care? Was it the right time or place? Did you filter your responses? Did you focus on the issue at hand rather than personally attack another? Did you think “If I say this, in this way, what is the likely consequence?”

In summary, 5 ways to do it right? Stay centered, calm, curious, compassionate and look for creative solutions.

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My What Big Ears You Have…

26 Apr

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  Stephen R. Covey.

How to NOT listen:

  • zone out
  • ignore details
  • be impatient
  • control or compete
  • hear what you YOU expect to hear based on assumption, stereotype or prejudice

How to REALLY listen:

  • focus
  • pay attention and remove distractions
  • patiently appreciate their effort to communicate
  • listen with your ears, eyes and heart so as to grasp the basic message and the feeling and meaning behind it, along with the unsaid
  • if you aren’t sure of the deeper message, seek clarification by asking gentle questions like ” When you said…what did you actually mean?”
  • when do you understand, take the time to reflect back what you have heard so he or she can process and hear their own thoughts e.g “Sounds like you’re really hungry Mr Wolf.”

When we use our ears to listen with an intent to understand, we:

  • absorb the words and allow them to bounce around in us until they sink in enough to touch our feelings and create meaning
  • turn on compassion
  • open our hearts in the present moment
  • make the other person feel heard and validated
  • create an environment of emotional safety and,
  • hopefully avoid being gobbled up.

How are your listening skills?

 

Valentines Day.

9 Feb
A love cake for The Wolf

A love cake for The Wolf

Something that I like to do on Valentines Day is to create a theme and an atmosphere that sets the day apart from any other day. I am not sure why some people think that celebrating the love you have for each other has to be commercial, flashy or expensive when cake and a really fun conversation can create delightfully happy memories.

This year I’m going for a fairytale theme and here are my questions: Continue reading

Set In Stone?

1 Feb

IMG_8287

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Pericles

Would you like to be remembered as someone who approached life in a calm and curious way, who lovingly affirmed and praised those close to you, or is it more likely that you are heading in the direction of leaving an imprint as someone who is frustrated, critical and irritated?

If you recognize that even a small part of you is heading towards the latter, here are several things you could do to invite more neutrality and less Continue reading

Less Of The Big Bad Wolf.

21 Dec

With Christmas nearly upon us, I am mindful that extra stress, added pressures and a lot of time spent in each others company (often in confined quarters), can sometimes turn those already struggling to restrain their snappy selves, into snarling Big Bad Wolves.

Incredible art from Soju Shots

Incredible art from Soju Shots

Here’s my wisdom for you wrapped up in a big red bow:  If we continue to concentrate on the things that other people do to annoy, irritate or aggravate us, and if we highlight and chew over it long enough, it magnifies a problem and leads to more Continue reading

Most Powerful Genie Wish Ever.

2 Nov

Many women say they wish their partners could be more this or more that. When I ask them if they think their partner was given those things as a child, the answer is generally a resounding no.

The aim here is not to blame or shame or parent bash. We all know everyone does the best job they can with the wisdom they have at the time. All children will conjure up their own particular unmet need no matter how fabulous their Continue reading