I was watching a TV programme called Newsnight this week. This is a UK based programme where politicians and media figures form a panel in front of a live studio audience, and discuss current political affairs. There has been a lot of debate in the UK recently, as we head towards the EU referendum, in which we decide whether we are “in” or “out” of the EU – so this weeks’ programme was very emotive for both the panelists and the audience.
As I was watching, hopeful for some real information and interesting insights, all that happened was that I was feeling more and more irritated. Each of the panelists clearly had their individual points of view and wanted to convey these, giving the audience the opportunity to hear all of these points of view, offer their own, and form their own opinion. Instead, as so often seems to happen with politics, all of the panelists became overly-vocal and loud, interrupted each other, shouted each other down, and point blank refused to listen to each others’ messages.
I could see how each of them were so desperate to say what they wanted to say, that rather than listening to what the other panelists were saying, they were just waiting for the opportunity to say what they thought. There was no attempt by any of them to acknowledge each-other’s opinion, to accept the validity in what they were saying. Instead it was a very black and white, “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality. So any actual valid messages were completely lost. And as their frustration levels rose, so did mine!
The result is division, confusion and frustration, with no real cohesion or shared idea about what’s important.
Does this sound familiar? Do you and your partner sometimes end up communicating in this way? Talking over each other, not listening to each other, not acknowledging each other, getting angrier and failing to agree on what’s important for your relationship? If so you’re certainly not alone – none of us are immune to letting our emotions get the better of us! It’s part of what makes us human.
It’s how we CHOOSE to act that’s important and that makes all the difference to the outcome.
To listen to each other, acknowledge the validity in each-other’s viewpoint or feelings even when we don’t agree, to be open to an alternative viewpoint, and to be respectful in the language that we use.
As a Nature inspired Relationship Coach, one of the key parts of my message is that healthy and effective communication is essential for a relationship to survive.
It makes sense when we think that Nature is dependent on communication for survival.
Animals often need to work together in groups or pairs to protect themselves from predators or hunt/gather food. Birds need to communicate when flying together in flocks, making sudden swoops and turns in unison in ways which modern science still doesn’t fully understand, and which keep them safer from predators and making flying easier.
If you and your partner find communication difficult, and are unable to discuss important issues without arguing, you are certainly not alone, and the good news is you don’t have to keep struggling with this!
If you would like my expert help, sign up for my newsletter, which is crammed full of valuable relationship advice and tips, by clicking HERE, or why not download my FREE Communication Guide for Couples HERE. And please feel free to post your questions and comments below as I would love the opportunity to help you with any relationship issues that you are struggling with.
Until then, remember that you must maintain your relationship to watch it thrive! X