Welcome to this special edition of Green-lite Dojo. This week’s blog is catered to relationship improvement for couples versus the standard self-improvement/empowerment content. With that said, to help me discuss this topic of communication in the confines of a relationship, I have asked my fiance Rica, to share her thoughts on this topic and provide a female perspective on communication in a romantic relationship. For clarification purposes, responses are color-coded as Rio and Rica.
What is communication?
Communication is the lifeblood of a relationship. It is how we share what we are thinking and how we express what we are feeling. Communication is the mortar that holds the bricks of our lives together. It is a vital survival skill that not many of us have mastered, but after reading this, I hope you’re at least a smidge better at it than you were before.
The Radio Analogy
Before we dig deeper into this discussion of communication in a relationship, I want you to liken communicating with your significant other to that of an analog radio tuner. Anyone who has ever used an analog radio tuner to locate an FM station can relate to the difficulties of tuning in to the desired FM frequency. Tuning in to the right audio frequency will require some patience and effort. In almost everything we do, some level of skill is necessary to achieve the desired result. You can’t spin the dial too fast, or you’ll miss the channel, and whatever audio you’re able to hear will be too distorted to comprehend. Take your time, use your skills to tune into each other’s channels, and enjoy the gifts of a harmonious relationship.
Relationship failure? or Relationship success?
Relationship failure or success is determined by communication, and not just any ole’ communication. But communication that is clear, genuine, and effective. This means share who you are with your sweetie, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Communicate your hopes, dreams, aspirations, and ideas, but you should also communicate your insecurities, concerns, and fears. When we share who are with our significant other, we create a bond of togetherness that results in a successful, life-long relationship. On the opposite side of communication, neglecting to share who you are with your better half can cause cracks in your relationship foundation, which will lead to the inevitable failure of that relationship.
Men and Women Differences
The differences between men and women go more in-depth than our gender or physical appearance. Our differences are coded in our DNA, more specifically our genes. It’s the reason why we behave the way we do or react. Hence, this is why we have a challenge communicating; Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus. We, as men, communicate by way of bullet points. We usually don’t care for every detail. Women, on the other hand, are the opposite and require details. The fact is men and women are different, so we communicate differently and receive communications differently. If a man is asked to describe what a person is wearing in a photo, he may answer, “A blue shirt.” When asked the same, a woman may respond, “A blue, cotton-knit, button-down, Tommy shirt.” This is one of the prime differences between how men and women communicate differently.
Listening and Transmitting
Communication is more than just sharing your feelings or speaking to your partner; it’s also about listening and understanding. Understanding what is being communicated is an essential part of communication, and in order to comprehend what is being communicated, one must listen. We all have ears to hear (except those who are deaf), but we all don’t listen. Listening is a vital skill needed for communication, and it’s more than just hearing words. Listening encompasses meditating on what is being communicated, being slow to answer, and giving your undivided attention. For a relationship to work, communication has to be at the forefront. Both parties have to invest their time, efforts, and patience if their going to or want to have a successful relationship. Effective communication is two-way, not one-sided. When two people can communicate on the same level, they give birth to something greater than themselves. They create a spirit of oneness.
There are two sides to a coin, and the same is true about communication. One side is listening, and the other is transmitting. Knowing how to transmit your feelings, thoughts, or opinions to your sweetie is key to communication. I’m reminded of the old saying, “It’s not what you say but how you say it.” Communicate on your partner’s level, try to be as direct and straightforward as possible. If the person you are involved with understands what you are communicating, nine times out of ten, you will have a better relationship. How do you do this? Get to know your partner, that is the only way you’ll know how to communicate verbally or non-verbally. When you learn to use both sides of communication effectively, it will be a powerful tool for handling disagreements. Use what you have learned from your partner through the use of communication to reach a resolution. Rio and I listen attentively and respectively to each other, whether we agree or disagree. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree. We allow each other to be open and inviting to receive honest, effective communication, so we both feel comfortable, especially in those not-so-comfortable situations. Express yourself in a manner that allows the other person to understand your point of view clearly.
Happiness and Harmony
Every relationship is unique. And once you’ve established what communication works for yours, you’ll transition from confusion to clarity, from being upset to being uplifted, and from feeling burdened to experiencing a breakthrough. Effective communication will not only enhance the longevity of a relationship; it will guarantee its success through harmony.
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