This month, I will be posting blogs about topics YOU asked for! I hope that you will comment on these blogs and join in on the conversation, so we can really learn and grow in these areas! Can’t wait to hear and learn from you!
In the world of relationships, here’s how the stories often go:
A guy starts talking to a girl. The girl thinks he is really interested. After all, he made the first move. He starts texting her a lot. Then, they make plans and go out to dinner. After their date, he says that he wants to see her again and they make plans within the next few days. Then, nothing. Absolutely nothing. All the texting stops, and the girl is left to wonder what happened. She begins to question herself: “Did I do something wrong? Why didn’t he call or text me? Is there something wrong with me?” If there is room for question, I can almost always guarantee we are going to choose the most negative thought available. And if you can’t think of one, I can promise that Satan can come up with one for you. As a result, you find yourself angry, and choose a very negative response: “What a jerk!” “I will never speak to him again!” And the relationship ends.
Or how about this scenerio for the married women: Your husband comes home from work and has already envisioned in his mind how the evening will go. He is “working his plan” so later, you might spend some “one-on-one” time with him. You are oblivious and tired, and totally miss or ignore his advances, because the only advancement you are interested in is advancing yourself from the kitchen to the bed. The next morning, your husband is snippy and snarky. You begin to question yourself: “What did I do wrong? Why he is being so mean? What’s his deal? Does he not love me anymore? I don’t deserve this!” So, you give him a good dose of spunky sarcasm right back. He shuts down and doesn’t speak to you. You give him the cold shoulder back. But when he doesn’t respond to that, you march into the room where he is and say, “What is your problem? I haven’t done anything wrong and I feel like I am being punished!” And WWIII ensues.
These scripts get played over and over again in relationships. For you who have experienced it, you are not alone. If you have experienced either or both or a similar situation, we can either continue to live in this vicious, unneccesary cycle or we can get to the root of it, which is COMMUNICATION. Both of these scripts would have turned out much differently had COMMUNICATION been involved. Had the guy sent a simple text to say that he is not interested in pursuing the relationship any longer, or the husband shared his desire that night, or his disappointment in not getting what he wanted the night before, everything would have been different.
A lack of communication hurts. A lot. Oftentimes, an unnecessary hurt that could have been remedied by conversation. What is interesting is that when asked, “Why didn’t you just communicate that to me?” most people answer, “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.” But NOT communicating is what DID hurt! In not communicating, in an effort not to wound, we actually wound the relationship even more than had we just been honest with our own feelings and worked through them together. Even if the communication is difficult or the conversation hard to have, it is TONS better than just leaving the relationship hanging.
Some of you may be asking: How can I get someone who doesn’t talk to talk? GREAT question! I have learned that most people don’t talk because they were never given permission to. Therefore, they sometimes need a little help with that. Here is a little approach that has worked for me: Ask them, “So what are you thinking about all of this?” “How do you see this?” then move to, “How does that make you feel?“. Asking them questions, and waiting quietly for a response can help them along the communication road.
Now, here’s flip-side: Have you ever considered how YOUR lack of communication hurts someone else? You leave them at a total loss, and their only option is to “guess” what is wrong or why you are behaving the way you are. And of course, the majority of the time, most people jump to the most negative (and usually wrong) conclusion, with satan joining in to help, and then respond negatively in alignment to their negative assumption. They also usually internalize it and think it is all their fault, heaping shame and guilt on themselves without cause.
Lack of Communication Leads to a Loss of Relationship
When our children were little and one of them fell and hurt themselves, I would run over to my crying child and say, “Oh, baby, I am so sorry! Show me where it hurts.” The truth was, I couldn’t help my child if I didn’t know where my child was injured. The Holy Spirirt revealed to me that it is the same way with their emotions. If my children don’t communicate to me how they are feeling, I can’t adequately encourage and help them. I can’t speak into their soul and give them Truth. So it is in all relationships. Honest, heartfelt communication goes a long way. It illuminates where we are with one another so we can know how best to respond.
When we don’t communicate to others how we are feeling,
they can’t adequately encourage and help us.
Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (ESV)
Where there is a lack of communication, anxiety can develop because of the confusion over what is going on and how to best respond. This anxiety will often lead to stress or fear. In this passage, though, King Solomon reminds us that good communication can actually lift up another person and bring relief from their questions and concerns. In other words, good communication involves being sensitive to another and helping to remove any space for anxiety with a “good word.”
No Disclosure = Negative Response
Full Disclosure = Fruitful Response
May God give us the ability to press through our fears and communicate. And may we learn how to best encourage others to communicate in return.
What do YOU think?