Have you ever looked someone in the eyes and thought, “Man, I wish they really got me!”
A lot of emotional turmoil, drama, and conflict could be prevented if we didn’t have that thought. The thing is, we all just want to be understood.
We want people to get us.
We want people to see us. Not, say like see us on the outside, but to really see us on the inside.
We want people to understand us.
And, often times it’s that we think we are understanding the other person, but we are lost in our own minds.
Like the other day when I was excited to share something with my partner. I began sharing, but he was in multi-task mode.
Here’s the thing. We can’t really connect in multi-task mode. You think you are being efficient, but really, you are being ineffective and it creates some issues.
As it relates to relationships, the issue was that my partner wasn’t really hearing me or seeing me. You can insert a burgeoning emotional turmoil moment here.
I had the awareness to see an emotional turmoil-like moment was on the horizon and the conversation timing wasn’t right. So, I let him know how I felt, and ultimately decided to take on the conversation later.
We did get to talk later and I shared what I was excited to share. The conversation was so much better. Why?
Because I was seen. He was in a place to understand me. To get me. I felt connected. That’s the best kind of feeling in the world!
You may be shaking your head in agreement. And, you may also be wondering, “Why is it so hard and how can we do better?”
I’m happy you are thinking that because I’ve got 3 killer tips that help you get the relationships you want. You can apply these tips with colleagues, students, your own partner, kids, and friends.
~ Take the Blinders Off
There’s a practice in mindfulness where the exercise is to focus on one thing, it’s like having laser focus. When distracting things come into your awareness, you go back to the thing you are focusing on, like your breath.
It’s a vital practice and mind training. It’s also very beneficial to put blinders on when you are working on a project or completing a goal.
However, when you are connecting to others, it’s important to take the blinders off. The mindful practice here is to be with what arises in the discussion.
To keep the mind steady on the conversation instead of, say wondering off thinking about your dinner plans, push your feet into the floor and slow your breath down.
It will help you be in the conversation instead of simply having your body there, but your mind elsewhere.
When you take the blinders off and you are open to the many thoughts, feelings, and sensations that come up in a conversation, you can ask questions, clarify messages you hear, and show genuine interest in what the other person is saying.
~ Stop Creating The Other
We can block off growth in a relationship quicker than a bug spray can kill those big Texas cockroaches when we start putting people in our life in the “other” category.
We are all unique and different. We will love some things about others, and we will really dislike some things.
However, it’s important that we see each other as human beings with many of the same needs and desires. It’s ok that we won’t always agree.
When you don’t agree, it’s important to monitor your language about the person you are in conflict with.
If you are saying things like, “He’s crazy!”, “What an idiot!”, or worse, let those phrases be cues that you are on the verge of separating yourself from trying to understand another person’s viewpoint. It’s ok to be upset and to disagree with each other.
But, the problem starts when you use that language consistently, then the other person really does become a “crazy idiot!” instead of an issue that may be crazy and the other person simply has a challenging viewpoint as it occurs to you.
What to do? Be intentional and reflective with your language.
Try instead to say, “This issue is so challenging and it makes me feel crazy. Though I don’t understand your view right now, I really want to, so let’s take time to reflect and have another conversation about it tomorrow.”
~ Ask What the Other Person Needs
Often times we think we know what the other person wants. We go about doing all kinds of things to celebrate them and have them feel that we appreciate them.
But, they don’t connect and you might feel frustrated! Yet, sometimes simply asking what the other person needs will go a long way in creating a connecting and authentic relationship.
You can also start a conversation by asking what the other person needs! It’s a great way to let them know you are there for them.
Asking what a person needs also opens up the conversation to more generosity and collaboration.
Try these tips in all of your relationships.
I have no doubt you will discover more connection, more authenticity, and more joy. And, ultimately, you’ll get the relationship you want and deserve!