Most Important ‘Relationship’ … With Whom?
( This page is lengthy, be prepared … )
Relationships are one of the most enriching and rewarding contexts of Life. They can give Life purpose.
Would you agree?
Being in Love with someone. Having a bond with your children. Connecting with your trusted and valued closest friends. Sharing your feelings and news with friends in general. Spending precious time with grandma and grandpa.
All Relationships involve basic components such as negotiating, delegating, decision making, exchanging information etc…but outside of the basic nuts and bolts why else do we value Relationships so much?
Why is it, we want to share exciting news with the people around us? Why do we also want to offload to the same people when we feel ‘bad’?
For the exact same reason – to intensify the pleasure of the good feelings we are experiencing and to lessen the intensity of the bad feelings. To magnify the positive and to dilute the negative of our lives.
Relationships are a vehicle to a deeper Emotional experience, and we know this instinctively. This is why we lust after a connection with another human being because it amplifies our experience exponentially and offers us the opportunity to fill the need to give our own life meaning and purpose.
Life would be pretty darn boring if we only had ‘experiences’ that we kept to ourselves, without the means to rev up, or dampen down. If experience itself was void of the means to share, then experience itself would lose it’s inherent meaning and life would begin to deteriorate.
Why then, do so many people have less than desirable relations with the people they come in to contact with in their lives? Whether that be with the kids, with the boss at work, with parents or with friends or their lover. Why do a large percentage of the populous have such poor relationships with the people around them?
The reason is, all Relationship’s depend on, and revolve around, a common theme, one that causes most if not all the trouble – the absolute ( non-negotiable ) need to ‘Communicate’.
Communication is the essence of what a Relationship is, without communication there would be no relating, when relating does occur, the challenge is that it is a very, very subjective thing that quite often fails much more than it Succeeds.
As you will know from personal experience you can say the wrong thing and bam, argument ensues. Or you can do nothing wrong and still ‘bam’ an argument appears quicker than the blink of an eye even though you said the right thing.
Ever happened to you?!
Join the club!
Why is it that we want to connect, we want to have that juice and we only ever do what we consider right, i.e. we never intentionally mean to hurt, or argue or experience a fight akin to verbal boxing. Yet, that is exactly what happens.
The culprit in almost every case is the boat called ‘communication’.
What do I mean by boat?
Think of a Relationship as what it is, a relation – ship. How one ship ‘relates’ to another ship on the ocean is through communication. Think of the water as the fabric through which the communications are delivered and heard. If 2 ships don’t communicate with each other, there is no Relationship. If the ships use the ocean / fabric in poor ways then there will be a relation-ship, but it will be a poor quality one.
The common denominator then of every Relationship, is communication. As mentioned, this is a subjective thing. What does that mean? It means the communication you make, can be and often will be interpreted.
The interpretation is a distortion and thus the person receiving communication from you interprets your communication as it is filtered through their own beliefs. They are not so much responding to what you communicated, but rather, what they believe you communicated! Little distinction but makes a gargantuan difference.
Most Important Relationship
When people have been surveyed about Relationships and what they think of, the answers are consistently the same…
Most people think about people, and their communications to them or from them and between them in general. This is all true and obvious of course. What is not so obvious it seems is, people forget that relating starts with yourself.
Often, people will come to me for Relationship Coaching and they usually have challenges with someone ‘else’ they profess. While this may be very true, the same person neglects to understand that A always comes before B.
A needs to come before B with good reason, jumping to B before dealing with A will be somewhat futile.
Let me explain what I mean …
Do you know what the most important Relationship is that you have in your life?
Do you know ‘who‘ it is with?
Is it with your children? Your boss? Your spouse? Your siblings? Your friends? Your lover?
While these Relationships are clearly very important, the most important Relationship you have, or will ever have for that matter, in your entire Life – is with yourself.
I know – it sounds a bit zappy, predictable, positive thinking oriented doesn’t it. However, you know what? It is also very true and very important. In fact – you tell me – is there anything more important in Life than how you communicate to yourself every day? How you feel within yourself? How you look and judge yourself?
It has been said many times over the years and is worthy of remembering – the quality of your Life IS, the quality of your communication.
If you start with a less than ideal situation with yourself ( poor or bad internal communications ) how can you ever expect to have a Successful interaction with another person!?
Effectively communicating with yourself is fundamental, without that, communicating with / to another human being is a mine field. Thus, being able to productively and effectively run your own brain in general Life, is your number ‘1’ priority.
However, there’s a problem…
I bet you left school as I did, along with millions and millions of others who basically were educated on subjects ranging from Math, English and Sciences all the way to Drama, Music and Home Economics but, do you ever remember being taught about, well, being a Human?!
How our minds work? How our psychology works? How we should use our own brains and minds productively? What are thoughts? Can we control our own thoughts? How do we do that Successfully?
We were allowed to use our computer to learn information in and of itself, however, we were not taught how to think it self! Rather backward in my opinion.
Dumping lots of information in without the knowledge of how to use it, how to remember it, how to organise all the resources so that they have value, is somewhat missing the point is it not.
Would you buy today’s super computer because it is suppose to be the best at speed, multi-tasking, holding vast quantities of information, graphics etc.. But you had to operate it with only 1 hand and 1 eye and 1 ear!
Would that make sense to you?!
Being in possession of the most powerful computer that exists, without having a user manual on how to use it properly, is, well, you know what!
I think it is fair to say that most people most of the time communicate in a less than desirable way to themselves through self-internal talk and general thinking. I believe this shows up in the external world as demonstration through things such as having certain areas of ones Life that at times is lacking the abundance / Success you desire and deserve.
Life is not user friendly, and to make matters worse neither is your brain. No one really ever taught us how to use this amazing piece of hardware properly in the first place.
So I believe learning how to master this computer on the inside – using it fruitfully and efficiently verses just haphazardly – is one of the very first steps one must take if one wishes to contemplate making real Life changes in the external world.
If you wish to have better relations with anyone around you – you need to understand that the communication from you to them – largely dictates that outcome / or not, and in the first instance – your communication to yourself – determines that communication to the person around you.
Relationships, Communications, can sound like large words that appear vague and overwhelming when you wish to make them better doesn’t it?
It does have a start however – your own thoughts.
Is I More Important Than We?
Sometimes no but sometimes yes.
When individuals come to me for Relationship Coaching, I ask them to identify what the issues and challenges are, that they are having, and with whom.
Most people will tell me that person X is the problem and that they want me to help them deal with person X. If you think about that sentence is it very revealing upon examination … The person in front of me – is asking me to help them – with a person not standing – in front of me!
If you follow logic I can not do that since that person they want the help with ( they believe ) is not there, so, what ‘can’ I do?
I help the person standing in front of me to communicate better to themselves, so that they can communicate better – to the person not standing in front of me!
All Relationship Coaching is, is improving communications.
Please remember this and never forget it.
Firstly to one’s self, and then secondly to another person. Invariably most people neglect to see that their communication both verbal and nonverbal to someone else in the external world largely dictates the outcome. Or the quality of that Relationship in the first place at least.
Yes ‘other’ people may indeed, be part problematic in the situation, it may really be the other person’s fault that’s for sure but, the question to ask is – ‘even if that is the case, does communicating poorly to that person, help or hinder you?’
The answer is clearly that it only hinders you, so learning how to communicate with them specifically, in a more effective way can only come about, again, because you have improved the communication to yourself in the first place to allow that shift.
So a large portion of my Relationship Coaching is focused first and foremost on the individual themselves. Improving communications with oneself – I have found – is a very effective way of improving any Relationship with any person that the individual is having.
Once handled, I then help the individual with the external communication / relating where applicable. That would naturally involve relationship barriers and issues with some of the people mentioned at the beginning of this page. Relationship Coaching sometimes involves group sessions of 2 or more people if the situation calls for it.
In any and all of my Coaching A always comes before B. You may have heard the phrase ‘you can’t always control the wind – but you can control your sails in the wind’.
Well that’s the point.
How Do We Communicate
Not in terms of technology or device etc… but in respect of how a human being directly effects themselves or others.
Scientists have studied human communication for decades and have broke down the individual components and ingredients of communication and concluded that …
Words account for around 7% of total communication. Tone of voice, that deliver those words accounts for 38% of total communication. The remainder 55% comes through in our general body language.
This relates to your communications to another person, but also to yourself!
Choosing the rights words at the right time to say is important. 7% may be the smallest chunk but it can be deadly. A tongue may have no bones but the tongue can still kill as they say so be careful of the words you use when talking to yourself. Putting yourself down is detrimental and destructive. Life will drag you backwards at times as it is, you don’t need to beat yourself up with your own internally dialogue – Life will do that for you.
Words themselves carry power. If you say to someone your mistaken, that impacts less than if you say your wrong. Saying your lying is even more impactful yet they are all just words. Be selective in the choice of the words you use when talking to yourself inside your head. Be loving, be supportive, be kind, be constructive, sure, but not destructive.
Summary – ensure you talk to yourself through internal self dialogue using positive, constructive, empowering words. They will impact your communication to yourself, and then that will have a knock on effect on the communication with the people around you.
The tone of your voice that deliver those words, accounts for 5 x the weight of the words ( content ) themselves so this is a major player in your communication and the impact the communication has, on yourself or the other person.
The tone refers to a general encompassment of volume, timbre, bass, tone, resonance, depth etc… of your voice. You can say a profane word that itself would be regarded as rude, insulting and tasteless, but if a comedian on stage says the exact same word but delivers it with a humorous and comical tone, then the audience will crack up.
Be sure to watch what tone you use with yourself inside. Most people have a quiet, depressing, monotone that clearly leads to nothing short of either boredom if you’re lucky or worse, a negative focus / feeling. You don’t need to be pollyanna and talk to yourself in some ridiculous way, but just become conscious of what you currently do unconsciously. Once you are noticing the tone you use ( that right now you don’t notice ) you can begin to change it.
Awareness can be curative.
Again, if you want to communicate better, copy the tone of the voice they use back to them. You already do this unconsciously with some individuals around you anyway, begin to do this consciously, its very effective at bettering communications ( Relationships! ).
Biggest slice of the cake. Over half of what is communicated is non-verbal, meaning it is from your body but not with words, sound or tone. This would be facial expressions, breathing rate, posture, gesturing or not, speed of movement etc…generally anything and everything to do with your body and what it is doing externally.
Remember, whilst all this relates to another person, it also relates to yourself. If you want to feel better than you currently do, then understand that your body language – communicates – to your unconsciousness and that then loops back to how your feeling.
Instead of trying to pump yourself up with just positive thinking when you are feeling drab, move your body in some way either directly such as get on the floor and lay down, then stand back up! Or indirectly such as go to the local shops for a walk or tidy the house etc… things like the indirect approach, you probably do / have done already, so you instinctively know the power of your own body / language.
The direct approach is simply faster and thus better! You can sprint on the spot for 5 seconds, this will defiantly make you feel better. Or you could dance for 10 seconds. All these approaches will change the communication to your unconscious which will circle back and you will feel better instantly.
When it comes to other people, do you believe it is manipulative to copy their body language, or do you perceive it as a vehicle to deepened bond with them?
Hopefully you see it as it is, a means to more intimacy. Does not have to mean a sexual connotation, it also means closeness and richer. A closer Relationship with your father or your daughter is a more intimate one that can be had.
Know that when you copy the body language of someone else, it is their unconscious mind, not their conscious mind, that is being affected and influenced. They will only be aware of the feeling of bonding / rapport / closeness with you, they won’t know why this is. Only their unconscious knows why. This is why body language is so powerful.
You don’t have to copy everything they are doing, you can but you may want to just select several things about them such as hand movements and posture, or instead their head position and their feet position etc… anything you do do with help you to achieve a better communication and that is the whole point / outcome.
Copying the body language of another individual on purpose will allow you to communicate better, truth is you already do this with certain people in your life. Have you ever yawned late at night only because your friend did, and you weren’t even feeling tired!
Ever noticed that when you’re in deep rapport with your lover or your friend you tend to take on their gestures, same face expressions, same energy, same mannerisms in general?
Mimicking the body language of your boss at work, is something you can do. It can be done subtly and sublingually. Leg position when sitting, hand movements when talking, posture are all easy and unobtrusive ways to copy them.
Why would you want to do this?
To deepen, strengthen, solidify the Relationship you have with whoever it is you want this with. In other words, to communicate better.
Remember earlier we discussed that words are interpreted, even tone of voice can be taken the wrong way, ever had that experience!? But body language does not involve interpretation, this is one reason why it is so effective and sure fire.
When you copy the body language of someone else, he or she will unconsciously connect with you because only their unconscious mind will notice ( they won’t notice anything your doing consciously / unless you go overboard and too obvious ) your body and all they will be aware of ( if it has been done correctly ) is as sense of comfortableness around you, a sense of bonding and closeness.
The same goes for everyone, whether your trying to bond with the school teacher, the doctor, the police constable, the person your attracted to at the party etc… the same applies everywhere.
Final word …Some people think rapport is smiling at someone, unfortunately that is not rapport, that is friendliness. Rapport is the ability to enter somebody else’s world and, it is responsiveness. Meaning if you copy their body language and you don’t get a positive response from them, then you did not truly attain rapport.
Rapport is built and based on sameness ( same body position ) not difference. If you want to study this deeper, look for articles on the subject of ‘Rapport’.
Types Of Relationships
We are all members of society in some form or other. Most people will have the usual / varying types of Relationships.
That would be inter-personal : with your intimate partner if you have one. With your children if you have them. With your parents and or siblings if you have them. With other relatives if you have them.
Then you have your Relationships with your close friends or friends in general if you have them.
Then you have your Relationships with people in your work / business environment if you work.
Then you have Relationships with anyone and everyone else not mentioned above.
There are of course lots of other definable contexts in Life where you may have a Relationship based experience and there are other ways of defining who is who such as inner circle or outer circle of friends, close friends as opposed to just friends etc..
All the people mentioned above in the different contexts that there may be, are external Relationships (communications with people in the external world). These are people on the outside of you so to speak that you relate with. Meaning outside of ‘you’. Obviously this refers to every single living human you will ever communicate with (only!)
However one of the most common areas of Relationship Coaching that I deal with is with people who shy away from society, who are not in the above mentioned list, and who thus feel very isolated and alone (lonely), even afraid of meeting people or talking in public etc…if you think about it then Confidence building is just another way to describe Relationship building – with yourself.
Re Cap – Communication
Every Relationship is based on communication, whether with yourself or with another person. No matter what the scenario is and with whom it is, taking control of your own communications to yourself first is non-negotiable if you want better Relations, only then can you communicate effectively / better / to the person in the external world you are attempting to improve your Relationships – with.
If you are one ship and your lover or your parent or your friend or your children are the other ship, then if you don’t communicate with them, highly likely they will sail right on by and you will miss each other on the ocean / on real Life.
All communication is made up of 3 parts either singularly, but most often collectively. If you can learn to use better words, with a nicer tone you will definitely improve your communications to yourself and with anyone externally. I assure you. If you add in positive body language, then your Relationships will take on a new light. This all takes effort patience and persistence, but the return is immeasurable.
My years of experience in the Charity sector involved for example, 3 years direct work with the suicide help service – the Samaritans. Dealing with people who are calling to explain they are wanting to / in some cases about to / kill themselves which clearly is an extreme situation.
I cannot tell you the protocol the Samaritans use for obvious reasons but suffice to say, you are limited to communication with that person on the end of the phone only – even though in that persons mind, at that moment – they may believe, the problem is with ‘someone else’ outside themselves – thus causing / creating their suicide attempt.
It is only them ( selves ) I am able to deal with and thus, through experience you find out / out of necessity / very effective ways to talk, converse, ask questions etc…that produce behavioural changes in the individual despite the limitation presented.
My point is no matter what or with who a problem is / lies, communications to your self – your Relationship with yourself – first if not only – is the first line of action because you are 100% in control of that.
You cannot be in control of any external factor to any significant extent so why base your efforts there, that would be something to consider secondly once the communications with yourself have been improved or mastered.
Who Is Relationship Coaching For?
– Anyone who is having frequent arguments with someone else or different people
– Anyone who is finding it difficult to communicate their feelings or thoughts to another person
– Anyone who is contemplating suicide or harming themselves
– Anyone who is nervous speaking in groups
– Anyone who wants to get very good at communicating in public
– Any parent who is having trouble getting through to their kids and are concerned that they are losing their Relationship / bond with their children
– Anyone who feels intimated by a person in a superior position such as in business
– Anyone who wants to improve their own internal communications with themselves
If you believe professional Coaching is something you need In this area and would like to discuss your personal situation with me, then please go to the contact page.
Know that all communication with me is in the Absolute Strictest of Confidence and Privacy.
To a Better Quality of Life …