Ever been frustrated with someone?

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Frustration in relationships is common.  It can also be called relational tension.  It is all about negative tension in relationships.  Tension by definition means mental or nervous strain, a state of strained relations, uneasiness due to some form of hostility (adapted from www.yourdictionary.com).

As you may agree tension in relationships can be really difficult.  Communication is how we all makes our needs known, how we give others feedback and how we connect with others.  I want you to think of a time when there has been tension in a relationship.  It may have been at work or at home. It may have been an acquaintance or a close friend or relative.  How did it feel?

Usually tension causes an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, feelings of worry and avoidance, we can be jumpy, feel stressed and anxious.  If the tension is significant it become our entire reality until we sort it out.

Tension can occur at any time and usually when there is some type of disconnection or misinterpretation.  I was in a supermarket recently minding my own business, when there was a lovely elderly couple doing their shopping together.  I saw how they were talking together about the groceries and it was a lovely sight.  English was not there first language so I actually didn’t know what they were saying.  Then the frail elderly lady sneezed and as I always do I saying cheerfully ” bless you!”  She looked at me like I had threatened her, her husband came in close and wrapped his arm around her as if to protect her from me.  They slunk away and I felt awful.  I have no idea what they thought I said but it certainly was it the response I expected!!

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  Sadly it can happen often, our intention is one thing and the result may be another.  This is primarily because we are all different, we have different ways of communicating our ideas and the also interpret things differently.  If you are a softly spoken more gentle person, when you communicate with some who is fast and loud it can seem aggressive to you.  However, the fast talking louder person may just be speaking as they normally do with great enthusiasm.

Some people are really touchy feely when they speak and others like a nice circumference of at least 3 feet between them and another person.  The touchy feely person can interpret this as the person not liking them, when it’s really not personal at all.  Some of us like to touch when we communicate, others do not, we are just different.

It’s when we misinterpret the cues from others we can get ourselves into a lot of trouble.  The moment we assume something about someone else, or what they “mean” we are on a down hill slide to trouble.  Over coming weeks I am going to step you through various scenarios and examples of how our differences can cause these issues, with the aim being that you will catch yourself before you make the mistake of assuming.

Keep an open mind and learn from the mistakes of others, your relationships are worth it.  So, if you are struggling with relational tension, whether it be at work or at home, checkout our resources page or contact us with your specific questions.  If this would help someone you know please feel free to share this article with them.  Usually we feel relational tension with those people who are very opposite or very similar to us.

At Teamology we specialise in taking people and teams from confusion to clarity. It’s not as hard as you think. However, the first step is asking for the help. Check out our workshops page.  We have a workshop coming up in November that relates specifically to “how to have difficult conversations and get a good result” so keep a look out.   Alternatively, see if there is a workshop that is addressing your specific concerns, if not, no worries! We tailor training to your needs. For training to learn more about your style, how to be assertive, how to deal with difficult people, how to be emotionally resilient and how to get the most out of your relationships visit www.teamology.com.au

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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