Starve or Thrive in Relationships? It’s up to you

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Communication is often so much harder than it needs to be.  Whether or not you are starving or thriving in your key relationships is up to you.  There are so many variables operating against you namely;

  • Different backgrounds
  • Different gender
  • Different communication preferences,
  • History or past experience
  • and what I call buttons (or sensitive places)

When you think of all of these variables all mushed up into a human is it any wonder we all can connect at all? Firstly backgrounds, this can be as simple as do you come from a talking, loud and proud family or from a calmer more introspective bunch? Do you talk about issues or bury them?

These things alone can break a relationship sooner than anything. You meet the love of your life and then they meet your family. That can sometimes be enough. And that’s while your family on good behaviour!

Gender, I sometimes think God sits back with a smile on His face and giggles at how we all get so messed up at the gender differences. As a proud, strong young woman I thought feminism was for me. I have now changed my stance based on my experience to believe that yes there should be equal opportunity but we are completely different. Neither is better or worse we are fundamentally different, and Thank God for that.

I do not need to apologise for my femininity and no man needs to apologise for his masculinity. We are different and together we can accomplish far more than when we are at each other competing.

Different Communication Preferences, this alone is enough to cause confusion for the rest of our natural lives, unless we all decide to be self-reflective, learn about our needs and learn about the needs of others. My favourite book “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer changed my life and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in this area of communication. My book “The Enlightened Communicator,”   also touches on these differences and how my experience and journey have shaped my experiences.

History or past experience can be a complete minefield, especially if you are not open to learning about how your past effects your today and your tomorrow. It only affects you when you don’t know how it affects you. I know confusing, but for example, if a person has betrayed you in your past, you then meet someone with similar traits in the present. You may unknowingly assume some things about them that are not valid or true at all. Don’t let the past control you, learn from it and move on.

Buttons are one of my favourite things. We all have them! Most people don’t know what they are and wonder why they are at the mercy of them as you go throughout their day with them being pushed by whoever, whenever. Let’s get control back people. Know your sensitive points and then take responsibility for them.

If some poor person unwittingly pushes a button for you, guess what? It’s your responsibility to get over it not theirs. Do some reflection, ask yourself, what happened, what did you feel, where did that come from. Then allow yourself to move forward, learning from the experience.

Be patient and kind to yourself sometimes it takes a while to work out where the root cause came from. Journaling can be a wonderful gift in this process. This is true maturity when you have had a button pushed and you work through this process taking responsibility to do this. How incredibly freeing!

Take the time and the commitment to master these variable and differences and you are well on the way to Thriving in all aspects of your relationships.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

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