I’m going to start a new, periodic segment called “Words of Lizdom…” I shall share with you some lessons I learned – most of which people learn much later in life. I guess I’m lucky to have had the good and bad experiences that have taught me these lessons. They have made me a better person and made my life more meaningful. So here we go! Here’s one that everyone has heard hundreds of times, as have I for the last thirty-one years: Effective Communication. Sounds so simple, eh? Here’s how it has changed my life. When my boyfriend and I first moved in together, it was a bumpy road for the first few months. It was a huge adjustment for both of us. One thing that both of us did on a daily basis was to misinterpret, overanalyze and put a negative spin on many of the things the other person said. He seemed to think I was out to get him and I thought the same about him. For example, I would pick something up or try carrying most of the bags in from the car and he would immediately run over and take it/them out of my hands. He was simply trying to help but I turned it into something else. In my head, he was suggesting that I couldn’t handle it – that I was weak and dependant. His deal with me was similar in that he would also put a negative spin on things I did to try and help. If I suggested something for him to do or try, he wouldn’t take it that way. He w ould take it as a criticism – that I was saying his way was wrong and mine was right. Both of us were on a path to destroying the relationship soon after it started. I’m not sure what this was doing to him emotionally, but it was certainly doing a number on me! I knew something had to change. We were both bringing caa-caa from our past into our present and future – not good! I was holding everything inside and it was quickly breaking me down. I knew I had to let him kn ow how I felt about things and also find out how he felt, or we would never get out of the rut we were digging ourselves into. Opening up to him wasn’t easy in the beginning. I think it also caught him off guard, which didn’t help. I kept at it though, and he started to catch on. Yea! I cannot believe how much better our relationship has become over the last few months, just through more open and honest communication. If we are not sure what the other person means when th ey say something, we ask for clarification. This is SO much easier than thinking of all the things it could mean, especially when it gets turned around into something negative and hurtful. It doesn’t happen over night, but if you both want the relationship bad enough, the effort it takes to change is definitely worth it.
If you want to read an amazing book on improving your relationships, read Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
It is also available on audio cassette and CD. Worth every penny!
Symptoms for today: I have a really bad headache and my jaw is throbbing. I think I’m stressed about getting that cortisone shot in my jaw tomorrow morning. I have also been experiencing many sharp, stabbing pains in my arms and legs.
Side note: Speaking of communication, my boyfriend just COMMUNICATED with me how much he would appreciate a link to his favourite team, the Chicago Bears, on my blog. It’s against my better judgment, but here it goes: