55 Rules For Love – Rule #20 – Communicate Openly and Honestly

How We Process and Handle Life

How do you and your partner process and handle life? My husband and I are very different. I tend to worry, am reactive and am very expressive. My husband lets life roll, for the most part stays calm, and keeps his thoughts to himself.

When conflict arrises between us, I want to jump right in and deal with it – whether I’m calm or not. My husband wants to avoid it, walk away and will talk about it later.

Communication Skills

It is too bad that schools don’t teach life skills such as empathy, mindfulness and how to communicate. Communication is such an important skill, because we are telling someone else that we hear them, and what they have to say is important.

You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

Effective communication skills take time and effort to master, because you have to unlearn the habits you have learned that are causing the breakdown in your ability to communicate.

Yoda Quote: You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

I’m an interrupter. When I listen, I’m not really listening, I’m scripting in my head my defense and my reply. I’m focused on my own emotional reaction as my husband shares his side of the story. Sometimes, I just need to be right.

My husband struggles with empathy. If he doesn’t relate to a problem, then that must mean there isn’t one.

Active Listening

There are 3 steps to active listening:

  1. Content and paraphrasing – this is the ability to detach from your own brain and interpretation to actually repeat back what your partner has said. Example: If I hear you correctly, what you’re saying is….
  2. Reflect emotional content – this is the ability to identify the emotions your partner is expressing and express this back to them. Example: You sound really sad and hurt right now….
  3. Pay attention to body language – this is the ability to pick up non-verbal cues from your partner and connect that to the content. Are their arms crossed in defense, are they not able to look you in the eye, is one leg restless? This skill helps to identify emotional content.

Speaker and Listener

These skills only work when one person is assigned the role of speaker, the other is the listener. However, the listener has to be centered and calm. If the other person is agitated, then space is needed to cool down. This is the give and take of finding the balance of when to approach the issue.

Check In

When space is needed to cool down, it is important to acknowledge that this space does not reflect an abandonment of the issue. The issue will be acknowledged, feelings will be acknowledged when one of you are ready to step into the role of listener.

Honesty

Getting honest takes time and practice. It requires a safe place to be received and embraced. It is not easy when my husband tells me a behavior of mine is hurting him. Or vice versa. This is why I must be calm as the listener to receive this heartfelt admission from my husband.

Deepens Emotional Connection

This level of mature and loving communication deepens the emotional connection between you. When my husband truly feels heard, he feels respected, and deeply loved. When my husband understands my emotional reactions, I feel heard and deeply loved.

Final Thoughts

Some painful, ongoing issues between couples may need a trained therapist to mediate active listening skills; to help guide and maintain the three steps of active listening.

Active listening takes patience, kindness, and unwavering love. It’s gonna be messy and mistakes will be made. But the first step is awareness and a willingness to try…

Yes, Yoda! Try!! Try to evolve into doing!!

S, ❤️

About me: Stephanie Wells

I’m a Reiki Master Teacher of Usui Shiki Ryoho – the Usui System of Natural Healing. I was attuned in Levels I, II & IIIA in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. During a 6 week stay in Mararikulam North, Kerala, India I was reattuned in Levels I, II, & IIIA as well as acquiring my Level IIIB Master Teacher attunement.

55 Rules For Love:

55 Rules For Love – Rule #1 – When It Arrives, Cherish It

55 Rules For Love – Rule #2 – Whatever You Accept, You Will Get

55 Rules For Love – Rule # 3 – Understand That Love Is A Mirror – It Will Show Us Who We Are If We Allow It To

55 Rules For Love – Rule #4 – Only We Can Make Ourselves Happy, It Is Not The Other Person’s Responsibility

55 Rules For Love – Rule # 5 – Don’t Say Words With The Intent To Hurt

55 Rules For Love – Rule # 6 – Accept And Forgive Easily

55 Rules For Love – #7 – Don’t Be Scared To Disagree, It Is Healthy

55 Rules For Love – Rule #8 – Never Be Too Busy For Each Other

55 Rules For Love – Rule #9 – Do Not Punish

55 Rules For Love – Rule #10 – Accept Honest Criticism, It Is Good For Us

55 Rules For Love – Rule #11 – Admit When You Are Wrong, Quickly

55 Rules For Love – Rule #12 – Support Each Other When The Going Gets Tough

55 Rules For Love – Rule # 13 – Live In The Moment – Be Present

55 Rules For Love – Rule #14 – Leave The Past Where It Belongs

55 Rules For Love – Rule #15 – Leave Drama Out Of It

55 Rules For Love – Rule #16 – Don’t Try To Control

55 Rules For Love – Rule #17 – Allow A Small Amount of Jealousy

55 Rules For Love – Rule #18 – Don’t Use Comparisons

55 Rules For Love – Rule #19 – Celebrate Differences

55 Rules For Love – Rule #20 – Communicate Openly and Honestly

55 Rules For Love – Rule #21 – Listen Very Carefully

55 Rules For Love – Rule #22 – Don’t Judge

55 Rules For Love – Rule # 23 – Don’t Manipulate To Get Results

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Agree! communications is the key in ALL relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said it!!!! 😀😀😀

      Like

  2. Margie says:

    Thank you Stephanie for sharing this.
    My husband and I had tiff last but we were able to resolve it this morning by really listening to each other and understanding how each other was feeling
    Your post is full of great insight
    ♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Communication is like a key to our hearts ‘eh!!!! Sending you lots of love and hugs!!!!!! ❤️🌟😘❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Margie says:

        Good grief, I see now my sentence was a mess, it should have said, ‘we had a little tiff last night.” LOL
        But all is well now and he took me on a wonderful drive to the countryside today and we found a little town that was empty and we walked around town.
        Sending hugs and all that love back to you!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is so great to get outside!! Get some fresh air!!! 🤸🏼‍♀️🤸🏼‍♀️🌸🌼🌟🏞❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. M'bolla says:

    Thank you Stephanie for the helpful tips. The importance of communication in relationships cannot be overemphasized.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, how important communication is. A perfectly wonderful couple who do not practice open and honest communication, can disintegrate into the eventual end of the relationship.

      Like

      1. M'bolla says:

        Absolutely. communication is a two-way traffic. It’s important for both to communicate and not just one person being the driver and the other,the passenger. Marriage doesn’t work that way. Feelings have to be mutual and open as you rightly said.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly!!! ❤️❤️❤️ Amen to that!!!!!! 🌼🌼🌼🌸🌸🌸

        Like

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