"We just need to learn how to communicate". That's nearly how every initial conversation begins when clients contact me for help. Does that ring a bell with you? Most are surprised when after discussing the broad areas in which we communicate, that they actually are pretty good at it. Unless of course it comes to our close intimate relationships, then it seems as though we not only didn't learn, but it's IMPOSSIBLE to learn.
Here's the good and the bad news. First the good news. You are more than capable and know more than you think you do. Next, the bad news. You are making a choice, either conscious or unconsciously to be dysfunctional in your communications. I believe that most of us, when the chips are down and we're in the thick of a disagreement, respond in an unconscious way. Perhaps it's what we learned growing up in our family system. Or perhaps we've been doing the same thing for so long and no-one ever told us it was damaging. The alternative applies to those who believe they know better, and are better than their partner and therefore can communicate however they bloody well please. After all... they know best.
When you think of dysfunctional communication, where do your thoughts go? Mine go towards volatility, defensiveness etc. Yet other ineffective and intimacy blocking styles are avoidance, stonewalling, blaming and the need to be right. These might not seem as egregious as a blatant verbal smackdown, but are certainly detrimental to ones relational health.
Think about where you might sit on the communication spectrum of healthy vs. unhealthy. What are the areas you would like to improve? Maybe you lead towards blatant anger. Or perhaps you avoid conversations that are necessary to move through an issue. You may need some guidance and tools to get you to a move loving, understanding, productive communications, but you CAN and SHOULD work on it.
Laura is fellow relational traveler. What does that mean exactly? It means she doesn't sit in a judgmental place. It means she understands how and why we show up in the ways we do. She will encourage you, challenge you and work your edges so that you can be the best "you" that you can be in your relationships.
If you would like to explore working with Laura, please use the contact form below this blog post.