Good Morning Friends,
Bare with me here in this post, because today I’m feeling a bit emotional and inevitably it’s going to trickle out in this post a bit. Today I want to discuss communication. It’s the backbone of every relationship. If you can’t talk and be open with your friend, partner, lover, peer, etc. then odds are, it’s not going to last. While we all communicate in different ways, it’s important to sit down with your partner to discuss what type of communication style works best for you. Now, let’s dive in.
I. Being Explosive Never Helps:
It was December 7th, 2012. I remember that date vividly, and likely will for the rest of my life, because it was the night I thought that I was going to die. I don’t say that lightly nor write it to be dramatic. At the time, I was in a toxic relationship. I was insecure and broken, thinking that no man could ever love me because I was (then) over 300 lbs. So, I settled for the first man that did give me affection. Several years into the relationship and living together, it wasn’t uncommon for him to explode and pummel me with his fists as a way of getting out his aggression. Once his anger subsided, he would tear up, lay me down as I was covered in bruises and black eyes, and place ice packs on my body. He apologized profusely and I felt too scared to tell the police or anybody else. But my life was hell. There was no communication. Instead, I felt too scared to talk to him because I was afraid of him yelling.
In the years since leaving that relationship, I’ve come to learn that yelling doesn’t do anyone any good. Take a breather. Go cool down if you must. But exploding on someone never helps because you’re likely going to say things that you don’t mean, and we all know that words cut deep. Really deep.
II. Learning to Phrase Things with Compassion:
I often talk about compassionate communication on here, but it’s because it really is my preferred form of communication. Why? Because it has re-trained my brain to think about how I phrase things. It isn’t uncommon for me to sit in silence and think about things. My family knows when I’m thoughtful because I will space out, very deep in thought. When I come to, usually I know how and what I need to say. In the process of transforming how I think, I began to change from using “you should” or “you need to” statements to, “I feel” and “I need”. I turned my focus inward and in doing so, I realized that I used to play “The Blame Game”. Have you ever played that in an argument? We get so pissed at our partner that somehow we look for someone or something to blame. We just have to blame something to throw all of our anger at. But what does it accomplish?
Now, whenever my husband and I get into a disagreement, often times he will hear me say, “it’s no one’s fault. There’s no need to place blame”. Because I truly believe this to be true. We can disagree. We can be pissed at each other. But it’s simply a moment in time that isn’t going to last long. Blaming only creates hurt and resentment. Instead, I focus on phrasing statements with compassion at the forefront.
For example: recently my husband and I got into a disagreement. I was feeling so much emotion that I said, “Look, I need you to hold space for a moment because I’m feeling a lot here!”. He took a breath and sat down silently. I then began to tell him how I felt and what I was thinking without saying, “And you should….” or “You really need to….” because let’s be honest— no one likes being told what to do! In phrasing things with how I felt and not putting my emotion on him, he was able to be receptive and we worked through it.
III. Don’t Go to Bed Angry:
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve sat up all night, unable to sleep, because my husband and I had a disagreement, then he would inevitably crash and I would be crying unable to sleep…. well, I’d be a millionaire by now. Here’s a pro tip of advice: don’t go to bed angry. I know you’re tired. I know the last thing you want to do late at night after “having a row” with your partner is to sit and work it out, but you both will be so much better once you do. Sometimes you will need to choose to let it go. You’ll need to learn to compromise. You’ll need to learn to truly forgive your partner and to process your anger. But never think that sleep is the answer to fixing your problems. Sadly, none of us can “sleep away our problems”.
Even the Bible says:
“Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” -Ephesians 4:26
In other words, it’s okay to be angry. Don’t “act a fool” and lash out just because you’re mad, but instead work it out. Compromise. Apologize. Speak calmly and gently. Face your issues together. Know that it’ll be alright. Have each other’s back. You’ll be glad that you did.
Alright friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you did, hit that like button and let me know. Have a wonderful Wednesday and I will see you back here for the next topic!