IN THIS ISSUE:
Why Argue? Keeping the Lines of Communication OpenBy Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
A minor disagreement can get out of hand very quickly or a simple conversation can suddenly turn into a shouting match.
Because your fear of being abandoned, or disappointing your partner makes itself the primary consideration in the conversation. Hearing another person's opinion or point of view can trigger the feeling of being invalidated, and for many people, it's a signal that ridicule, criticism or judgment is on the way!
Good communication is telling your truth about YOU to others and being congruent - within yourself.
Being congruent is a process in which you value yourself; you take ownership of your thoughts and feelings, and your resources and choices; honor and express your deepest knowing about yourself and be sure that what you say and how you say it match what you are feeling.
There are three major reasons that men and women don't communicate effectively.
First and foremost, most people do not identify their feelings accurately.
Secondly,it is very difficult for most people to find the right words to express how they feel.
Lastly, if they do know how they feel and if they have a few words to accurately express how they feel, most lack the courage to let anybody know.
Does this sound like you or others you know? Identifying your feelings, finding the right words to express your feelings and mustering the courage to actually express your feelings to another person really isn't so complicated.
Don't avoid saying what is in your heart or on your mind to say.
Don't hide your worries because you don't want your partner to know that you are not in control. Don't hide your hopes and dreams because you are afraid no one will share your excitement.
When you stay emotionally intelligent and emotionally available the lines of communication stay open. Create a safe and supportive place to tell each other the truth mindfully, responsibly and respectfully and always remember that the foundation of your relationship is built on good will and good intention.
Remember, only YOU can make it happen!
Copyright 2015 by Dr. Jackie Black. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Dr. Jackie Black, is a Marriage Educator and Coach, the co-developer of RCI's Couples Coach Training Program and the lead Advanced Partnerships Trainer. Dr. Jackie serves couples in trouble in her private coaching business, and teaches and mentors RCI members to support couples to ignite their passion, deepen their connection to themselves and each other and step into the world of Radical Marriage. Connect with Dr. Jackie at www.DrJackieBlack.com
My parents hate the love of my life. What do I do?
My parents seriously hate my boyfriend and they've never met him. They blow everything out of proportion and accuse him for every problem we have in the family, when he did nothing wrong.
It's tearing me apart and I don't know how to deal with it without losing the love of my life. What do I do?
- Susan, from WI
Kemi responds ...
I'm so sorry to hear you are going through a rough time with your parents about your relationship with your boyfriend.
What approach have you taken to speak with them about him? Has there been an occasion when you complained to your parents about him or showed signs of worry about your relationship?
Is it possible for your parents to meet with your boyfriend for an in-depth conversation? That may lead to your parents getting to know him and build credibility. You may also want to try to listen carefully to what they have to say by having a heart-to-heart conversation with them. Sometimes, doing that will help you hear their views better and assist you with understanding their perspective/views.
Kemi Sogunle | www.kemisogunle.com
Ellen responds ...
I really hear your pain and understand how torn you are. I would love to help you figure out how you can get out of the middle and avoid having to choose between your parents and your boyfriend.
I would suggest you ask yourself and explore the reasons that you have not introduced the love of your life to your parents. Are there any red flags that you are avoiding? Does he meet your needs and requirements for a soul mate? Do you share similar values and life purpose?
May I also recommend you think about talking to your parents about boundaries? Setting clear and reasonable boundaries between you and your parents would be an effective way to reduce conflict and improve communication with your parents.
What is considered "reasonable" would depend on your age. Debbie Pincus, MS, LMHC defines a boundary as "the line you draw around yourself to define where you end and where your child begins" (Parental Roles: How to Set Healthy Boundaries with Your Child). Parents may cross boundaries in their desire to fix things, make things better, or close to that they view what is perfect for their children.
Ellen Kamaras | www.ellenkamaras-lifecoach.com
Barbara responds ...
I can hear the pain in your question as you describe your feelings for both your parents and your boyfriend. What was your relationship like with your parents prior to your boyfriend? Have you had similar issues with your parents involving any other relationships? Does this seem to be a recurring issue between you and your parents?
Anytime two people have issues between them, anyone else brought into the mix compounds the issue already present. Without having additional information, it sounds like this might be the case here.
If it is, your boyfriend really doesn't have anything to do with the issue. That makes it a family concern. Try setting up an open and friendly time for an intimate conversation with each parent separately to help you zero in on who the clash might be with.
Hopefully this will get you on the path to begin the process of resolving the challenges between you and your family, and helping your overall situation.
Barbara A. Williams | www.barbaraannwilliams.com
The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.
This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here www.relationshipcoach.org/ask-the-coach and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
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