Ever notice how your body feels when you’re upset with someone? When I’m in conflict with someone close, my body feels drained, my mind distracted, I don’t eat properly, work seems harder.
Did you know that the largest contributor to conflict in relationships is poor communication. Maybe you don’t feel heard, there’s constant arguing, nothing changes, and the biggie— you both are acting defensively, pushing each other's ‘buttons’. Poor communication can chip away at our self esteem and self confidence. How can this be good for our health?
We see from personal experience the connection between good or bad communication and our relationships. Now there’s scientific evidence to support the link between good relationships and a long healthy happy life.
A Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the world’s longest studies of adult life that looked for clues that lead to healthy and happy lives. It began at Harvard in 1938 and continuing today with a second generation study.
“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” said Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. The study showed that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. They are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes. * article from The Harvard Gazette read here
When in conflict with your partner, family member, colleague... what do you notice about the way you communicate with each other? This is not about judgment or blame, it’s about seeing what is going on.
Awareness of ‘what is’ is the first step to change.
Is there trust, honesty, openness and mutual respect? Is someone trying to be the winner? That can’t work since someone winds up the ‘loser’. It's not a competition. Relationships are built on compromise and on finding solutions of mutual benefit, and of caring for oneself and others. Good communication skills are the only way messages are heard and received.
With tools such as listening with empathy and letting go of reactivity, you can end the frustration and anxiety of poor communication. You break old patterns that used to get you caught up in the same conversations.
I help my clients learn new ways to:
- be a more active listener
- express themselves without the fear of creating more conflict
- be heard
We do it by exploring:
- how the way they treat themselves impacts their relationships
- how to create and enforce good boundaries/respect
- new ways of building intimacy and trust
How's communication in your relationships? Maybe it's great with your partner but not so great with a sibling. You are not alone. Family relationships are complicated!
Learn what you can do to feel better, find peace and get unstuck.