What we need to say the most, is often the hardest to communicate. It is difficult for many of us to communicate to our partner when we know it will upset or hurt them. We might decide to not even have the conversation because of the exhaustion and hopelessness of sharing with someone who is going to resist.
Importance of Communication
I can think of two reasons it is important to share when we do not want to. First, by sharing, we stay in relationship and connection with the other. If we do not share, we take a step out of the relationship. As we take more and more steps out of the relationship we will eventually find ourselves alone. Second, when we share something upsetting to our partners it is usually addressing something within them that is stopping them from living the life they deserve. The upsetting information is likely triggering something inside them from the past that is unresolved. By sharing and opening yourself up to the person’s upset, you are giving the person the gift of being able to finally work through their unresolved pain. What we resist sharing can serve to release the other from their pain.
There is much more to communication than we know. Couples present for counseling requesting to work on their communication. Most of us were taught to communicate information. If all we need to do is communicate information about ourselves to have a fulfilling relationship, then many more people would be satisfied with their relationships. Instead, it turns out that communicating information is ineffective for creating satisfying relationships. Many that communicate information, do not communicate what is important, that is why things stay the same. Other people break the constraints of logic and reason and communicate from a place of emotional reactivity. Many of these individuals, in our information age culture are unfairly considered “crazy”. Both methods do not work and yet we keep trying.
Essential communication also involves listening. If the listener is just listening from the mind, then the listener will miss the communication. I liken, listening from our entire selves, as using our presence to shine a light inside the speaker, empowering the speaker to finally know themselves. Getting to know ourselves happens in connection in relationship, it does not happen in isolation. In isolation, we typically perpetuate our emotional pain and build additional defenses to aid us in our emotional survival. So ultimately, essential communication with our partners are instrumental for our healing and growth.
I teach “essential communication”. Communicating essentially is simple compared to communicating intellectually or technically. Any willing person can quickly learn the basics of essential communication. Essential communication is speaking from our wholeness rather than a part of ourselves. Research has shown that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. This means we must learn how to communicate with our eyes, expressions, touch, heart and finally words. In the couples sessions, I quickly teach essential communication to the couple, which usually results in immediate success. Building their confidence from the early successes empowers the couple to move onto more difficult issues in the relationship.
If you are looking to learn how to communicate essentially, contact Isaiah Hulme (916)743-6698 to set up an individual or couples appointment at his office in Roseville.