Communication: Art or Science?

As I have evolved throughout my lifetime, gaining knowledge and understanding about myself, others, and the the interactions that result in the world, I have had varying views about aspects of human behavior. One in particular that I have thought on at length is in the area of communication. Besides love, open communication to me, is the key to success of any human relationship.

I have trained many people in the past on the subject, how to communicate effectively, how to express your needs clearly, how to be a good listener. It really is technically based; state specifically what you are trying to convey; listen acutely to the person speaking to you; say back to them what they have said so that you know that you clearly understand. When done in this manner, very little room for error, right?

I always felt so empowered and effective at teaching others about these most critical ways to strengthen relationships, because I took great pride in what an effective communicator, as the speaker and as the listener, that I have been in my life.

What a bunch of BS.

It is so interesting to me that even though I believed myself to be so good at this, that my relationship did not succeed, and I have come to realize throughout the last few months how little I communicated important things within that relationship. Deep things, that I accused her of not telling me. And yet, I wasn’t telling either.

Even though I know and understand the technical aspects of communication, I never used them in my closest relationships, especially in my intimate, partner relationships. I always wanted to have it be peaceful and loving, so I would withhold telling how I truly felt rather than create assumed conflict. I would not save what I really wanted to defer to someone else’s wants and needs, but then not say so. I would say and feel love, and not say when I was unhappy or unsatisfied.

I really viewed communication in the context of intimate relationships, as an art. That which just flows naturally and easily due to the love that exists. Like the falling in love itself, it just happens and you go along for the ride, so clear communication just comes with that.

Nope, doesn’t work that way. I have come to understand very distinctly, that communication, no matter what relationships we are talking about, communication is truly a science. It is saying clearly and intently what it is we want to say. As a listener, it means listening actively, and saying back what has been said for clear understanding. It means calling out our disappointments, hopes, fears, and dreams all of the time, not just when the going gets rough.

It means opening up, showing our heart, being vulnerable. Scientifically, of course.

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