Have there been times when you’ve had a heated argument with someone and you wished you could have been a little calmer? Your Emotional Channels get so flared up, you lose yourself and you say things you wish you hadn’t? Or do you hold on to your resentments and when you do finally explode you spew off random complaints in what I like to call, “the list.” The list is a series of complaints that you’ve built up over a period of time and when your HOT button gets pushed, you start rattling off a list of things you had a problem with, instead of communicating them when they happen.
Through my own experiences, especially when it comes to becoming more Relationship Attractive, I’ve discovered that healthy communication is essential for becoming a Date Smart and Relationship Ready single gay man. Now, think about this: Are YOU the type of person who is highly reactive when your emotions are at a high?
Myth vs. Reality
There’s also a deeply ingrained myth regarding conflicts and relationships; that it’s healthy when you’re in constant conflict in a relationship. Well, I would like to bust that myth by saying it’s simply NOT true and it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, conflicts are part of human nature, and what’s also part of human nature is the ability to either come to a point where conflict is dealt with ease or you work on conflict skills so they are not so HEATED when you do find Mr. Wonderful…..but it doesn’t have to be a normal occurrence in relationships.
You can rest your heart, because just when you thought there was no way to turn it around, I’m here to tell you there is. As a blissful and successful single gay man myself I have spent an enormous amount of time working on how to mellow out the emotions when in conflict. This was a HUGE learning curve for me, but I set an intention, applied what the experts taught me and I can proudly say I’ve mastered it.
To cut your learning time by at least half, I am going to share with you a simple formula that will take you from reactionary to the calm and peaceful communicator that you know you can be. You will learn how to resolve conflict with ease that will eventually lead you to a more peaceful existence, especially when it comes to that special relationship you are working towards attracting.
Learning How To Communicate
1. Active Listening. Remember, when in conflict, it’s not really about them, it’s about you. Stay grounded, keep the blame factor to yourself and keep your emotions in check. Try this experiment: The next time someone comes to you with a “complaint or who is emotionally dumping on you,” try reflecting back what they’re say to you, using their words. That means, no interrupting to give your advice or input in the matter. Our egos want to WIN, but there are no winners here. It’s not a competition. Simply reflect back what they are saying by beginning each phrase with “So, what I’m hearing you say is…” and when they are done, ask if you might have a turn to respond. This will help ground you, force you to listen and help you put into perspective what they might be needing and after some practice you’ll react less and become a highly skilled listener.
2. Use your words. I spent a few years teaching preschool and one principle always sticks out in my mind. We taught our kids to “Use Their Words” when in conflict. I believe as adults the same principle holds a lot of power and value; especially if you’re stuck in reactionary mode. This was one of the biggest lessons for me as an adult. Sometimes as adults we don’t use our words when expressing frustration, anger or even joy. That doesn’t mean using inappropriate words, but words that serve you and the skills of healthy communication. Children ARE amazing teachers!
3. Choose your battles. Pardon me while I use that word, “battle.” By no means do I promote conflict. What I mean is, if conflict does arise, cool down and take some time to work through it yourself first. Ask yourself important questions like, “What do I need right now?” “How can I take care of myself without involving others?” “How important is it really and am I blowing the situation out of proportion?” You will be surprised by the answers, and just by taking some time to reflect and actually thinking about the situation you might actually discover that what you were angry about wasn’t all that important to begin with.
Your Relationship Attractive Homework
The only way change is going to happen is if you implement these steps right away CONSISTENTLY. I can remember a time when I would attend seminars and read self-help books and wondered why I didn’t see changes happening in my life. I soon realized that until I apply the tips and strategies in my own life CONSISTENTLY, nothing was going to change. Ask a friend to practice strategies 1 and 2 with you. Role playing can be fun and you both will gain so much value.