The title is part of my favourite Guns R Roses song – Civil War – it is also from the movie Cool Hand Luke. But sometimes this is a real issue for me, because I am not one to just spill my guts about anything. My husband lovingly pointed out to me the other day that I don’t tell him half of what I should. I guess I only tell him what he needs to hear.
Communication is the passing on of relevant information through the exchange of thoughts and messages.
But what does he need to hear? What does anyone need to hear?
For me, it is important that I hear him tell me how much he loves me, something he has struggled with, but my counsellor put it beautifully. I need to be validated. Those three words – I love you – mean a lot to me and it is important to me that I hear it on a regular basis or else I just feel like a glorified housewife.
However, this post is more about me than him. What do I need to communicate? In a relationship, it is important for me, and my husband that I tell him everything, even if it seems dull and unimportant because my husband is a logical thinker and needs all of the facts to fit neatly together, and apparently I have issues with giving him the relevant information. I also know that I do this in my every day life too, I only seem to get half of the information out that I need to, or I overcomplicate it when I should simplify it. I just don’t seem to be able to win sometimes.
I know I can talk with the best of them, but I am more of a listener than a talker, I prefer to get someone talking about themselves. That way I don’t have to really talk about myself – because I don’t like sharing things about myself and my personal life – I am a very private person (even if I do have a public persona).
I guess what I should really be doing is paraphrasing more, especially instructions, because this will reinforce it into my mind, and also when passing on that information. I am not a gossip, in fact a lot of it stops with me, because if it didn’t come from the horses mouth, then it isn’t true.
So back to communication – I guess what I need to do is think carefully before opening my mouth – use key words and explain myself thoroughly, but with as few a words as possible – except if I am writing of course!
Communication is the key to any successful relationship, whether it is intimate or work relationship. Information needs to be passed on, whether by mouth, hands (sign language), or written (or drawing if really primitive), Getting the right message across is what matters, the key points and the relevant information to back it up. A simple “Hello, how are you?” can seem like a throw away line, but sometimes it is important to listen to the response. “I’m fine, and you?” is deflecting the question back onto you. “I’m Ok,” is a cue to ask more questions. A “I’m not in a good place right now” might just mean that they need a hug. A word of warning “I’m not well – I have a sore hip….” RUN as fast and as far as you can because you could be there for 10 minutes as they list off all their aches and pains.
So communciation – whether speaking or listening is important to everyone. Make sure that the message you are passing on is accurate and what you want to convey. If not, you could end up with information that you didn’t mean to get.