By, Carrie Shubert
Some see it as conversation, and some as confrontation. It is an art that takes practice. Communication should be honest and honoring.
Here is an example that most single people can relate to. Think of a time when you met someone and they asked you if you would like to go out with them. How many of you said yes, took a phone number, but never intended to follow through. I meet many men and women who have me Ďtune iní to someone that they have gone out with or met that told them they would love to sec them or spend time with them and then never called again.
People donít communicate because they are afraid of feeling uncomfortable. No communication is communication. When you ignore someone, you dishonor him or her. Rather than look at caller I.D. and not answer a call, I end a relationship through honoring communication. For example, I tell the person that I want to end our relationship because it seems as if our thinking is very different or we are on different paths, thank them for the time we had together, and wish them the best. I donít go into reasons why because its not negotiable and it means putting the other person down when listing what you donít like.
I knew a guy visiting from out of state that met a woman at a bar and spent the night with her. When I spoke with him the next evening he told me he had a great time with her. I asked if he would call her again. He said that he would not because he was leaving to go home. I suggested he take five minutes of his time and call her to thank her for the special night he had with her and to wish her the best in her life. He couldnít understand why that was important. I explained that it would let her know that the evening meant something to him, that she wasnít being used. He was worried she would want more of a relationship. He never made that call and when I ran into her a few weeks later, she asked me why he never called to say goodbye. I saw the hurt in her eyes. What a difference that call would have made!
If asked out on a date by someone Iím not interested in, I simply smile and say, ďIím flattered you asked me, but no thank you. I hope you find what you are looking for. Good luck to you.Ē
If all of us communicated more responsibly and in an honoring way, many of todayís problems would be solved. Most people act out what they wonít say. We have been told not to hurt someoneís feelings.
It has taken me many years of practice to feel express myself clearly and responsibly.
When triggered, I used to use my quick repartee to debate the person I was with. I would feel like I won. What did I win? I have learned that when Iím upset by something that is said to me, to step back and think about what upset me. Before I respond, I think about what I want to say to that person and I ask myself several questions.
1) What is my intention or motive?
2) Am I looking to Ďpayí that person back for something that was said and make them feel bad?
3) Is what I have to say, constructive?
4) Will it make a positive contribution to this person?
Be a part of the solution. Keep your side of the street clean.
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