So this isn’t rocket science, but it took me a while to even figure this out. Communication is key in maintaining any relationship – with your coworkers, siblings, friends, parents and partner. But over the years some of us have developed ways of communicating that are destructive, and that debilitate us from growing those relationships.
Whether its learned behaviour we developed by watching our parents/care givers/siblings growing up or techniques we taught ourselves to protect our feelings as a defence mechanism, at some point in our growth we’ve got to step back and examine things.
“Shouldn’t I speak up and communicate how I’m feeling right now, instead of shutting down and expecting him/her to just know what I expect them to do/say?”, maybe not in those exact words, but I wonder if we take the time to ask ourselves how best we communicate to our loved ones what we expect of them and each other?
I read a great post on Mind Body Green on 5 Communication Mistakes That Kill Relationships, and there was one key point that stood out to me:
4. Not communicating at all (or being passive aggressive)
Passive aggressiveness might be the most effective way to end a relationship. The very first rule of communication — the one that overrides any communication tip you hear — is that you have to DO IT. Not speaking to each other, only speaking defensively, and hiding behind thoughtless platitudes are all ways of shutting down communication channels. And when communication stops, whether literally or practically, that relationship will begin to die. Think about that the next time you’re about to teach someone a lesson with silence
That last part, ‘teach someone a lesson with silence’, has never worked for me. But oh how I’ve tried it. Whenever I got treated a way that I didn’t like or got a response I didn’t want from someone I cared about, I thought by being silent they’ll figure they’ve hurt me and correct the situation. Passive-aggressiveness at its finest.
All this built was resentment, frustration and disappointment. One of the biggest hurdles I’ve worked on with my relationships, all facets of them, is speaking my mind and heart openly and honestly. And with each risk of vulnerability I’ve taken, I’ve been rewarded.
This article hit home and I hope you take a look at some of those common mistakes; there might be a chance you can unlearn a pattern you’ve built and unleash an authentic side of you that is destined for greatness.