Although I can write concisely and get my message across, in intimate relationships where conversation is required everything goes to shit. You would think I could organize my thoughts, plan a compare and contrast, or devise an argument and talk away. Not the case.
I can’t even state my needs and this has become a problem, causing me great frustration. I confess, I’ve waisted more time think about relationships ending than what I should be thinking about and that is: the art of communication. This is because I find expressing my need, wants, and desires, paralysing. Everything goes back to my childhood where I was afraid to speak and because of this fear all that would come out were tears.
Having become a grown up I had gotten better. I would scream and carry on, cry and feel deadful because I felt that nothing I said, did, or wanted, mattered. I felt trapped and imprisoned by these fears so much that by the time I was compelled to speak it would come out with tears and volume. I could not effectively communicate, but I tried, and that was an improvement; as anything beyond tears for me would be. As this was not productive communication it would only a cause me and my partners over the years, more frustration.
With this knowledge I became overwhelmed and as a result shut down. No more crying, no more
screaming talking, why bother. The pathetic thing is that although the person I’m communicating with has changed: it is not my father, or the first husband, or the next, I am still paralyzed and my fear of communication will ultimately mean I will either: never have my needs met, that I am destined be alone, or that I will have to face my fears and learn to effectively communicate. I have chosen the latter.
Perhaps instead of being told “Stop crying” as a child I should have been patiently asked to use my words. I’ve seen this parenting technique watching other parents try to manage their frustrated children engaged in tantrums, although I never made this connection until now, as I try to analyze my own problems with communication. I wasn’t a tantrum child, only a crying one and I learned early on to cry in silence, although I could not stop those dreaded tears.
I can also see how my inability to properly express myself has effected my own parenting skills. I think with my youngest one, the ‘freshie’ that I must not have properly expressed my expectations or perhaps I have and she just doesn’t care. I realize that I don’t know an effective way to motivate her even when I approach her consciously trying to communicate in a clear and concise manner. However, I find if I wait long enough I’ll get a response of compliance, although I see that the response comes without follow through. It is merely her way to manipulate me so I shut up and go away. Not effective parenting at all.
I am productive in business. I present my clients with activities and they engage. I am a motivator. Their participation is for their own good, yes and it is also for mine, as their participation is a measure of my success. It is a win, win, situation and we all feel a sense of gratification. I know what they want and need, I create programs to accommodate them. This of course means different things to different clients and successful programing comes about though knowledge, thoughtful planning, and effective communication in presenting my program for it to be successful.
So, by eliminating the emotional aspect from my interactions with my loved ones, I should also be successful in communicating at home. Surely, my man wants to please me even if my daughter does not.
I’ve come to realize as my partner and I are merging our lives the language of communication needs to change. Not necessarily the yours and mine to becoming ours, but we collectively have possessions and we need to decide how it is that we want to live. We need to decide what is best for us.
Isn’t language amazing?
Feature Image: flickr.com