One of our main obstacles to loving and harmonious relationships is our inability to communicate effectively. I have seen many relationships between love partners, parents and children and siblings where there was mutual love, but many conflicts because of their inability to clearly express their needs, feelings and beliefs.
I will always remember a couple who had been married for 40 years and came to discuss various conflicts. I asked each to share with the other what he or she needed. The man mentioned that it annoyed him that every time he was talking to others about some subject, which really interested him, and she would be rejecting what he was saying by making a sound in her throat. She looked at him in surprise and answered, “I do that because I agree with you.” For all these years he had been accumulating feelings of rejection, hurt and anger because he was never able to share this with her.
Let us look at some of the feelings and thoughts, which obstruct our ability to express our needs, feelings and thoughts with others.
OBSTACLES TO MORE TRUTHFUL COMMUNICATION
Under each obstacle we are presenting some possible affirmations for healing those obstacles. These should give you a base to work with but not limit you. If they do not suit you, find the phrases that do.
We might also need to work on childhood experiences which have to do with these emotions .
1. I fear telling the truth because I do not want to hurt him/her.
a. That I do not agree with everything he or she does.
b. That I have not always told him or her the truth.
c. That he or she is more ill than he or she thinks.
d. That other people gossip about him or her and do not think well of him or her.
Even though until now I feared telling ____ (name of person) that (subject we are afraid to communicate)____ because I did not want hurt him/her, I now realize (feel, believe) that the truth, lovingly expressed, is the best for us all.
2. I fear telling the truth because I do not want to get into a conflict.
a. That I do not agree with what the other is doing.
b. That I do not want to do what the other wants me to do.
c. That I have done something that the other does not approve of.
d. That I have made a mistake.
Even though until now I feared getting into a conflict if I told ____ (name) that (subject)____, I now feel that the truth lovingly expressed is the best for us all.
3. I feel ashamed to tell the truth.
a. That I have not been faithful in our relationship
b. That I have sexual fantasies.
c. That I am afraid to be alone.
d. That I am angry about something.
e. That I have made a mistake
Even though until now I felt ashamed to tell ____ (name) that (subject)____, I now feel that this truth will set me free and help us create a more honest relationship.
4. I fear getting hurt if I express the truth.
a. The truth about what I do or need.
b. How much I really need the other.
c. My real feelings
Even though until now I feared getting hurt if I told ____ (name) that (subject)____, I now express those truths and feel strong enough to deal with any reactions.
5. I fear that I will lose my self-worth.
a. My mistakes or weaknesses
b. Anything, which I might have done which, might not be accepted by the other.
e. That I love and need the other.
Numbers five, six and seven have common roots (self-worth) and thus we have united them.
6. My pride does not allow me to express the truth.
a. How much I admire the other.
b. That the other is actually right and I am wrong.
c. To ask for forgiveness when I feel the need.
d. To admit weaknesses and fears.
7. My competitive nature does not allow me to express the truth. (much the same as five and six)
Even though until now I feared losing my self-worth if I told (admitted to) ____ (name) that (subject)____, I now feel my self-worth within me and express those truths.
8. I feel uncomfortable expressing positive feelings because:
(Some possible reasons might be)
1. It is not manly.
2. It might go to the other?s head and he/she might feel superior.
3. The other might use that against me in a future argument.
4. I have not learned to do this.
5. I am occupied with my problems.
6. I feel competitive with the other and thus want to be superior.
7. I try to show how I feel with my actions.
8. I sense that that the other does not feel comfortable when I express positive feelings.
Some examples of positive communication we might have difficulty with:
1. That I love you.
2. That I respect and admire you.
3. That you do many things very well.
4. That I am grateful for all that you give me.
5. That I want you to be happy.
6. That you make me happy.
Even though until now I felt uncomfortable expressing my positive feelings and thoughts to (name) ____ because (reason) ____, I now feel that he/she deserves to hear the truth.
What else can we do?
Given this situation, we can do the following to create a more loving and growth-conducive relationship:
1. Take full responsibility for our reality.
2. Free the other from any responsibility for our reality.
3. Perceive the other as our teacher and learn through both his or her positive and negative attributes. Learn to emulate the positive, and to understand, accept and deal with the negative.
4. See what lessons we need to learn through the other?s behaviors that annoy us.
5. Learn to communicate more effectively with the other through I-messages and active listening
6. Understand the other?s:
a. Needs (such as: affection, love, approval, freedom, respect, unity)
b. Beliefs ( such as: I am in danger, I am not worthy, My freedom is in danger)
7. Do not speak to others about our loved one, but only directly to him or her (except, of course, a counselor).
8. Participate in groups for the purpose of self-knowledge and creating interpersonal harmony.
9. See a professional counselor together.
10. Participate in each other?s activities.
11. Express love and admiration such as:
a. Gratitude for help and service
b. Acknowledgment of what the other does
c. Recognition of the other?s abilities, qualities and virtues
d. Love and appreciation
12. Meet regularly for communication on all levels. This is best done on a weekly basis.
13. Visualize the other in light and send love on a daily basis.