We all make what we might consider communication mistakes as we go through life and interact with others. It’s just inevitable because we’re all so different and look at the world so differently.
As we’ve learned from our own relationships, as well as from our coaching clients, there are ways to communicate that invite love and there are ways that push love away.
Here are 5 communication mistakes that you may be making without even realizing it and that with some awareness, you can avoid…
1) Asking your partner to open in ways that you are not willing to open
After the two of us were together, Susie had a big aha around honesty. She realized that in her previous marriage, she longed for her ex to be emotionally honest with her (and often prodded him to be) while she wasn’t being emotionally honest with him.
Pretty big lesson for her not to expect someone else to do what she wasn’t willing to do herself!
What about you?
Are you expecting someone in your life to act a certain way and you are withholding yourself as well in a certain way?
2) Dragging the past into the present moment
It’s so easy to focus on thoughts about what happened in the past and attribute them to your partner in the present.
Early in our relationship, Otto seemed to constantly think Susie would shut down and run away like his former partner did. Susie felt falsely accused and it shut down communication, causing arguments no one can win.
By learning to stay in the present moment, we both could just focus on what was happening–in the present moment, not the past.
How about you?
What do you drag from the past into your present relationships?
3) Not understanding that we all live in separate realities
One of the biggest barriers to easy communication is not realizing or “forgetting” that the other person’s reality is just as real and just as important to them as yours is to you.
It’s easy to not see it.
When you remember this fact, you listen better and have more compassion. It doesn’t have to mean you agree but it does mean that you’re more open to understanding.
4) Trying to communicate at the worst possible time
So it might be obvious that when one of you is about to head out the door, it’s not the best time to start a meaningful conversation or make a request–but we all do it.
It also may be obvious that when either of you is angry or really triggered about something, it’s not the best time to “get into it.” But we all do that as well.
Meaningful conversations are best done when both of you are not as emotionally-charged and when you can be present with one another.
5) Thinking communication has to be hard
Many have the idea that communication is hard because that’s been their experience up until now. It certainly doesn’t have to be when you understand that difficult communication is a result of what we call “stinkin’ thinkin’” and a misunderstanding of how we create our reality.
The two of us weren’t always good at communicating (and sometimes we aren’t now) but what we’ve learned to be good at is realizing that we can get back to easy and loving feelings between us very quickly now.
We can show you how.