In the rocky waves of life, nothing will get you through the storm like your trusty ships – friendships and relationships. They know you better than anyone else and sometimes can be the only hope for survival. What happens when your ship needs maintenance and isn’t understanding your needs and journey? Try thinking of communication in these new ways to help you both get back on course.
Yes, listening sounds so easy, but it’s really the beginning of understanding. Hear what the other person is saying. Everyone has feelings and emotions and they are just as valid as yours. Your ships are not out to get you, they are probably going through a lot too and could benefit from your steady hand on the wheel. Rarely is the disagreement or anger on the surface, dive deep to find what is really going on.
Take sides (each other’s)
Sometimes we take things out on the people we love most because we know they will still love us through it all, good sides and bad. Even when we show our ugly monster face, we know they will still love us when we return to normal. Remember that at the basis of your ship is love and while people have a need to get anger out, they just want to experience that love and understanding that drew you two close in the first place. Take each other’s side, try to understand what they might be going through, and show them love.
Don’t get heated
Easier said than done, but if you can keep the waters calm, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively. Even if you both need to separate for 10 minutes to get all the angry words out alone, come back together ready to fix the problem. Agree to both be calm, nothing is worse than fighting fire with fire.
Say what you feel, not what you think
Communication can be terribly misunderstood – we are human after all. Especially when emotions are running high, we get on the defense and attack, it’s built into our nature, and the only good it serves is getting you out of danger. It doesn’t help nurture relationships or help understand where the danger came from. Try telling the person how you feel, or how what they said made you feel. Don’t assign feelings to the other person, let them explain theirs. They might not have meant something as you are taking it. Try not assuming the other person’s motive, work together to get the feelings out to address the real issue.
The blame game
At all costs, don’t get into the blame game. When has that ever worked out? Going back to our basic survival instincts, we are trained to stand our ground in our decisions and fault others for failures. Aim for growth and understanding because this situation has presented itself. Too many people just try to “drop it” to get out of the situation without really getting to the bottom of the problem.
Try some of these communication tricks next time you find you and your ship in rough seas. Learning from each other is the goal to maintain a healthy happy journey together.