Keep your life above the waterline.
How are you doing with your family relationships? Your work relationships? What about your friends? Have you ever messed up a relationship, or lost a relationship because you didn’t speak your truth?
We hear so much about being authentic and we can wonder – what the heck does that mean? It means, basically, say what you mean, and mean what you say.
It can mean not saying, I’m fine – when that translates as – I am really angry about what you said, did, or didn’t do, but I’m not going to deal with it.
Or it can mean saying, I don’t care what you say, that’s not the way it happened, instead of, so what I hear you saying is…and repeating back what you heard the other person said, and saying it in a way that demonstrates you were listening rather than reacting and getting defensive.
Underwater with Habituation.
Many of us have gotten so habituated to defending our position, rather than discussing our position and listening to the other persons point of view, that we unintentionally find ourselves creating distance between those we love, work with, or care about.
And we have so many models of dueling versions of the ‘truth’, each side talking at the same time, and not even the observers listening, but getting activated themselves instead. We have an entire segment of the TV industry predicated on discord – angry housewives of wherever, angry chefs, and angry pundits.
Change, like everything else, starts at home – and that home being the inner belief systems and behavioral choices of us all.
What can we choose instead?
Here is the short version of saving, salvaging and enhancing relationships –
- Listen to the other person first, hear out their complaints or comments, know that negative energy around an event or concept or disagreement most often comes from fear – often fear of loss.
- Ask the other person to listen to you and speak only of your own experience, your own feelings – leave the word ‘you’ out of the conversation. Forget, you did this, you did that, you made me feel. We are grown ups and are responsible for our own feelings.
- Often, once both sides understand each other’s perspective – the disagreement disappears on its own.
- If there is still the need to negotiate, then go ahead and do that from a place of mutual understanding, it makes life so much easier and peaceful.
Remember the theme in the popular move Avatar – ‘I Hear You’ – subtext, I acknowledge and receive you, I am open to your view, your ideas, your inner spirit.
Make your day a little better and find the amazing peace in becoming a Listener.
Read more posts by Katie Garnett, Ph.D, Co-Director of The One Command Life. Katie is a blogger for JenningsWire.