I was convinced, and I still am that my love is my soul mate, my other half. For me this meant that he should be able to understand what I wanted without communicating about it. I think a lot of people are in this habit. I have a small example to explain what I mean. Imagine this. I get home from work, tired and I really do not want to do anything. BUT of course I do not want to appear to be lazy. So when my loves asks me if I would rather just relax for a while he makes dinner I make an encouraging face and tell him “of course not honey I’ll make dinner.” Expecting him to insist that he will make dinner. Too bad for me he replies. “great babe, I’ll finish up some work while you start on dinner.”
For some reason, which I do not completely understand, I really did expect him to insist that he made dinner because:
A. He could tell I was really tired by looking at me
B. He remembered me telling him earlier at lunch how I would was really tired.
C. He can read my mind
D. All of the above
Of course now that I am writing it down it does seem silly even to me, but I do catch myself plenty of times thinking that people (especially the ones I am really close to) can understand me without really talking to them. OK this might have been true for your high school BFF, remember how you could always finish each others sentences? But it turns out it does not work that way in love relationship, well not for me at least. (funny thing it never works that way with your parents either).
Secondly, and I really do not know why, but the cliche seems to be true, women tend do say the opposite of what they want, especially when talking to their loves. Why do we do that? Do guys do that as well?
I’m sure I did it a lot, I know my friends do it, and yes men always complain about it. After reading this great book on non-violent communication (see my previous post) I discovered that many fights and misunderstandings were created because I was not straightforward about what I wanted.
After analyzing my thoughts and actions I can tell you what I was doing wrong, I was always trying to give the answers which I thought people wanted to hear. Especially with my love. But it turns out it does not work like that in a relationship, because a lot of times I was agreeing to things only to disagree or try to manipulate the situation later on. If I would have been honest about my feelings from the start it would have been easier for both of us. I am a very stubborn person so although I would initially in a vague way agree to something eventually I would try and change everything to have it my way. Needles to say this was a major trouble causer for us and in hindsight I can see how very annoying it must be for others.
So great communication is not only about listening and understanding it is also about being honest and clear about what you want to say. Again it sounds really easy. Please check out the following page, it was created by the person who developed non-violent communication. His ideas and teachings were of great help to me and I hope they will be for you to.