What gives? Why are relationships, and the communication in them, so often complicated and challenging? Why doesn’t this person understand what you are trying to say? Why don’t you get the point he or she is making? Why is it sometimes so difficult to be heard, as well as to speak out?
It can be such hard work, as if you are each speaking completely different languages, and nobody is bothering to listen or understand. It’s invalidating to be in a relationship in which you don’t feel like you are being heard. You might blame the other for not getting you, but there’s more to this story than you think.
It actually all begins with you, or within you. Your communication with yourself will affect every relationship you create, consciously or not. Each person you are in relationship with, whether they are your family, work mates, best friends, or love interest, will reflect you, back to you.
People who are very different from each other, often do find themselves attracted to each other. Others can help you to fill in or validate the shadow parts of yourself. This can be supremely healing, and it can be painful. What if you actively shun that side of yourself? What if you judge it or suppress it in yourself, and fear it in others? You might resent or resist what even your best friend is trying to tell you about yourself, if this is the case. It can feel like an invasion of your space to have someone else tell you how they see you, if you aren’t ready to hear it.
Then there are those who don’t really want to see you, and have their own agenda for being in a relationship with you. The challenging relationships you’ve created for yourself in your life, all helped you to learn more about yourself. Those who were the biggest challenges may have been the most helpful to you in becoming stronger and more aware of who you are.
Here are a few ideas about having relationships you treasure:
The power of a hello: Your first impression of someone is powerful, as is theirs of you. The first time you meet someone is the first time you each say hello to each other. Your hello is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another person. A hello to the other person’s spirit is a way of saying “I see you“. It’s equally important to still give this hello years into the relationship, to actually look at and see the other person. If you can no longer see each other, the relationship isn’t in present time.
Emotions: whose job are they? Have you agreed to do the emotional work for others? Has that agreement worked for you – for example, are you getting what you want in your relationships, emotionally? If not, you may want to allow others to take care of their own emotions, while you take care of yours. If you’re being responsible for yourself, you can more easily have what you want in your relationships.
Intimacy and trust: can you trust yourself in this relationship? Do you trust yourself to choose? If you don’t, you may be holding yourself back, and this will affect the relationship. Your willingness to commit in a relationship depends on trust, among other things. Your choice of a partner will also be affected by your ability to trust your own sense of who this other person is. Again, it all begins with you.
Are you valued? In this relationship, do your feelings count? Are your desires and dreams important? Or is it always about the other person, whether that person is a family member, partner, or friend? Perhaps you’ve been afraid to speak out about what it is you want, maybe you’re shut down every time you do, or you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t even know.
The way you see, listen to, and value yourself, affects all others in your world. If you love and value who you are, you will more easily attract others who do the same, and not waste your time with those who can’t. Love begins with you.
©Kris Cahill 2007-2012 All Rights Reserved.