When it comes to learning about relationships, I’ve recently learnt that communication is vital. I had an issue I wanted to raise with my other half yesterday. I waited until he’d finished what he was doing (or stopped for the day) and mentioned that I’d written a rant, and he asked to see it. He then said he was sorry and said that “in his defense, I could have said something earlier.”
Now, based on past experiences, I’ve found that talking directly to him about something I felt he’d done… not wrong, but done something I wasn’t happy with, can upset him and we get misunderstandings and it upsets us both.
Yesterday, I changed my tactics, asking him when I knew he had time to talk to me. When I knew he wasn’t worried about his work since he’d just done a huge chunk of it. I asked him how he would like me to talk to him in those situations, and I actually learnt a little bit about how to communicate with him.
All humans have styles they prefer and certain phrases and things that upset us: Those few words that have pre-programmed reactions, almost. For me, someone typing “okay, fine.” sounds like “whatever, go screw yourself. I can’t be bothered to argue but I know you’re wrong.”
To him, when he says it, it’s often “okay, that’s fine, I’m okay with that idea.”
Took us a while to find out why we were mis-interpretting that one. =P
Anyway, I’m diverging a little… I learnt that just because you “know” someone really well, you still have to learn to adapt to their styles at times, and to enlighten them to your own. For example:
Talking to anacquaintance the other day led me to thinking about political correctness vs being blunt. His best friend had written blog about how people use labels like “straight edge” and “druggie” for popularity, and not because they like the actual style of living that way. Now, this guy was writing a letter to his best friend telling him he was closed minded and why couldn’t he just talk to him etc etc and why did he make it so public… (My friend wants to be straight edge, having been a druggie his whole life). I suggested he put in key phrases such as “reading your blog made me feel…” and “I was hurt when…” rather than “how you could do this to me?” kind of talk. This guy told me it would be “dancing around the truth”.
In the end, the best friend posted another blog that purely said “I wasn’t talking about you.” Now the point of this long-winded story is to show that by not blaming another person, and by taking some personal responsibility, does not mean you’re not being honest. I said I was upset when my other half did certain things, I also said it was partly my fault and that I was sorry for the blame that was rightly mine.And when my other half then apologised for making me feel that way, I instantly knew that this would work out, because we were truly listening to the other. I explained I had just taken his action too personally, rather than calling him selfish, because I understand he has other things on his mind, and I’m okay with him putting them first sometimes. I felt very grown up all of a sudden. =]
I think if I’m learning these sorts of skills from self-help books at age 17, by the time I leave University in three years, I might actually have some people skills. J Stars Above,