Effective communication is undoubtedly one of the most important ingredients in a successful relationship. Through our communication we build bonds or destroy them. When clients come to me with communication problems as the underlying issue, the main stumbling blocks they are falling over are usually one of the following:
- They don’t realise that their communication (or lack of) is the underlying source of their relationship problems.
- They don’t understand how they feel and don’t know how to communicate how they feel, to themselves.
- They don’t know how to communicate how they feel, to others.
- They don’t know how to release bad communication habits and replace them with good ones.
Of the four above, the one I want to talk to you about is the second one. Until you can get clear on how you feel, you cannot convey it to yourself or someone else. That’s simple enough to understand but that doesn’t mean people take the necessary steps towards acknowledging their feelings. The result: deepening cracks in the relationship the person has with himself or someone else.
Not everyone finds it easy to acknowledge their feelings. Many don’t realise that they need to in order to move forward and those that do, sometimes don’t want to confront them because they know to do so will be a painful experience. Sound familiar?
For those of you fighting the idea of having to confront your feelings, I assure you, you have to find the courage in order to overcome the difficulties you are experiencing. There is no shortcut from where you are to where you want to be if you are currently unwilling to address your feelings.
Trust yourself to be able to confront and work through your emotions. If you believe you can do it, you will do it. If you believe you can’t do it, you won’t do it. Your thoughts determine the path you take, choose your path based on what you want to achieve rather than on what feels comfortable. Remember the saying, ‘No pain, no gain’? This applies to mental processes as much as physical exercise.
Think back to the times in your life when you experienced the most pain. They are the experiences that shaped and strengthened you the most.
It’s often the emotional hitting of rock bottom that ignites that ‘enough is enough’ mentality that launches our resolve to change what we are unhappy about. So embrace the anxiety of opening that box of emotions. Lift the lid, and acknowledge the emotions; only then can you decide how you would rather feel, what you need to do to get there, and (where relevant) what you need to communicate to others, e.g. your partner, parent, child, sibling.