Communication Simplified

Nov 8, 2023

Communication Simplified: Cutting Out the Noise on Relationship Advice. Love and connection are not about hard work. They’re about communication, affection, kindfulness (yes, kindfulness- it’s not a typo), and energy. All those lifehacks, lists, and advice from friends can be simplified into one of these four ideas. When we understand and navigate relationships with these big picture ideas, we can avoid getting bogged down in too many details and getting stuck on where to start. This helps us be ourselves in our relationship growth, which helps us to be connected.

Communication Simplified: The Big Ideas on Communication

To keep things simple, we will start by tackling the idea of communication. Here’s our big ideas on communication:

  1. Communication is simply the action of sending and receiving messages between you and your partner. We don’t have 100% control over how our messages get received. How we send our messages and our willingness to receive them kindly does matter.
  2. Our actions and body language send messages too- sometimes even more strongly than our words. This means that we can accidentally send a message with our body before our mouth.
  3. Being curious in communication can make it collaborative rather than adversarial. That’s a ‘hurray’ because teamwork makes the dream work (total cheese… but true).

Communication Simplified

Communication Simplified: The Excitement of Simple Communication

How exciting is it to think that communication is as simple as just sending and receiving messages? This means that ‘good’ communication is really as simple as two people being successful at getting each other’s messages and sending something back that is equally as well received. By ‘well received’, I mean understood and accepted. But how do we do that? Surprisingly, a lot of people already know how they like to receive their messages and can probably tell you about (if you asked).

Some people want a message that is short and clear. These partners don’t necessarily need all the softening words or added examples (at least not right away). Other people are totally opposite and would like all the appropriate ‘therapy’ words to be used and delivered with a neutral, understanding voice and supporting examples. And there is also everyone in between. Remember that no one is perfect and picking just one small change at a time works best. So, step one to boosting communication is asking each other what works best for exchanging messages and what could be tweaked.

Communication Simplified: The Power of Body Language

Besides our actual spoken words, it can be surprising how much more powerful our actions and body language can sometimes speak for us. Our body language can play a big part in how our messages are interpreted. For example, if you and your love are trying to solve a problem and one of you gives a suggestion, if the other one rolls their eyes before they use their words, the message that the suggestion is lame has already been delivered. Any words after this are now being received through the lens of ‘your idea is lame’. That does not set the stage for open minds or hearts or collaboration.

So, let’s set the stage by choosing and using our most kindful (kind and mindful) body language. For some couples, this could be standing in a hug or sitting openly and relaxed towards each other or making eye contact over the dinner table. If you’re not sure what your kindful body language might be, think of what your body does when you’re sharing messages about exciting news or telling your partner how much you love them. These are times that you are just naturally being present and openhearted (that’s being kindful).  So, step two to boosting communication is being aware of our body language and trying out some kindful body postures.

Communication Simplified: The Power of Curiosity

An often overlooked aspect of successful communication is curiosity. When we first start a romantic relationship, curiosity fuels our desire to learn more about the other person. However, over time, we may lose this curiosity as we start to believe we fully know our partner. This can be a mistake as everyone is constantly evolving and having new experiences. Instead of assuming we know everything about our partner’s thoughts and responses, we should maintain our curiosity. This involves asking open-ended questions and actively listening to their responses.

Communication Simplified: The Role of Curiosity in Conflict Resolution

Curiosity can also play a crucial role in resolving conflicts. Instead of viewing disagreements as a competition where there’s a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’, we should approach them as a collaborative problem-solving exercise. This involves being curious about each other’s perspectives and ideas, and working together to find a solution that satisfies both parties. In this way, love becomes a collaborative game, not a competitive one. So, the third step in boosting your communication is to cultivate curiosity about each other.

Remember, if how you are exchanging messages together needs some tweaking or changing, that is growth. No one is wrong. Trying to adjust and collaborate together is the big picture key to communication. Little tweaks along the way lead to better and more fulfilling communication the longer your relationship grows. Contact us today!