“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” - Charles R. Swindoll
Every relationship has its challenges, and if we want to get through these challenges, we need to learn to communicate. Communication is crucial to building a strong relationship; one of the many life pillars we all want to continue to achieve growth.
When we talk about communication, we are not talking about just having a discussion or making small talk. No, we are talking about letting go of our insecurities and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with someone else to better understand the other person and develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship. It is about being willing to talk about the things you are afraid to discuss, and it is about being willing to listen deeply to the other person as they share their fears as well.
No matter how well your relationship is going, you can always work on being a better communicator. It is something I have personally been working on for a long time, and no matter how much progress I make, I know I have more work to do.
Being able to communicate is vital in holding together a strong, healthy relationship, and unfortunately, it is something that most of us don’t do enough.
We all want to be better communicators, and most of us know it is something we should work on. We want others to communicate with us, and none of us are intentionally bad at it. No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Hey, I’m going to suck at communicating today! I’m going to hold it all in and hurt my relationship!”
So Why Are We so Bad at Communicating?
Most people are terrible at communicating, whether they realize it or not. Why is this? Why are people generally so bad at communicating, even with the person they are closest to? Even when we know we need to communicate to move forward?
The bottom line is we do it because we are afraid.
Inside we are so afraid to be vulnerable and to put ourselves out there. We are afraid of being judged, not taken seriously, or just downright abandoned. No matter how much our partner may ask us to communicate with them, we are still afraid to let it all out.
When we have a disagreement with our partner, we immediately put up walls, and the last thing we want to do is communicate. Our ego gets in the way, and we think that if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, then that automatically makes us wrong. Who wants to be wrong? If we give up, doesn’t that mean we are admitting they are right?
We have to let go of our ego. Allowing ourselves to open up and to communicate in the midst of disagreement doesn’t mean that we are wrong. When you and your partner are not communicating, and instead, you are putting up walls, there are no winners or losers. When the communication goes out of the window, you both lose.
When your relationship is challenged, stop trying to be right. Stop trying to win the argument and stop turning the disagreement into a fight. Just because you disagree and emotions are running rampant doesn’t mean that your disagreement has to be an argument.
We all have past conditioning and reasons for why we react to different triggers the way we do.
For me, it is the fear of abandonment. I felt abandoned by my mother as a child, and I carried that with me throughout my life, and it now triggers me in my relationship. Through communication, my fiance and I have discussed the insecurities I came to the relationship with, as well as the ones she brought in with her. We have been able to create an understanding between the two of us so we know when we have a disagreement, or we are triggered, we understand why we react the way we do.
She understands that when I am triggered, it is because of my past conditioning and not because of something she did wrong, and I understand that when she is triggered, it is due to her past conditioning. We have learned this through communication and being vulnerable with one another. Sharing our emotions and our fears, and by letting go of our ego.
Let me give you an example…
Recently, my fiance and I had a disagreement, and my emotions took over. My past conditioning took control of my actions, and my walls went up. However, I understood what I had to do. I knew I had to open the communication back up, and we had to talk about what I was feeling and the fears that were leading me to feel them.
The problem was I was afraid to open that communication. I wrote and rewrote a text message several times. I was afraid to send it because what if I didn’t get a response? What if she didn’t text me back? My fear of abandonment was kicking in, and I was suddenly afraid to send a text because I was afraid I was going to be abandoned.
I’ve learned that if I want to grow my relationship, I have to have communication, and I have to allow myself to be vulnerable. I got up the courage to send my text, and something happened…
I wrote a deeply honest and heartfelt message. I got vulnerable, and I laid it all out there. I was scared, but I sent it anyway. Every minute that went by after sending that message was terrifying, and my fear of abandonment continued to put doubts in my head.
However, even though I was scared, it was the most liberating feeling to send that message. I had never sent a message like that before, where I just laid out my heart, my feelings, and my fears.
This act led the two of us to the most beautiful conversation and communication experiences that I have ever had. We shared our fears and what we needed from one another. We took our understanding of one another to the next level.
As a result, our relationship has been better than ever.
Have Yourself an Honest Communication
When you enter into a relationship, you are not doing so with a clean slate. You are both bringing baggage and past conditioning into the relationship, and now you have to learn to make everything work together. You have to help each other work through them.
Now that you have this awareness, it is time to break the cycle. It is time to let yourself be vulnerable and let go of your past conditioning and your ego’s need to be right.
The result is beautiful, and I encourage you to think about the things that you’ve been through that you resent. Work through your past conditioning and share your fears and insecurities with your partner, and listen without judgment when they do the same.
Let yourself be uncomfortable and see how it can transform your relationship.
Communication is key to any relationship, including the one I’m building with my audience. Leave a comment below, or reach out to me on Instagram. I would love to hear your thoughts.