This trend setter is everywhere we look these days.
Authenticity guru’s are abound with the honor, stand and speak your truth. Like any good thing, it’s easy to blur the lines and go overboard. As we find ourselves well into the age of social media, where now EVERY human being with access to the internet has a far-reaching platform, we see every day how people can take the ‘Speak My Truth’ mantra and start really bashing everyone over the head. And sometimes if by doing, we do offend others deeply, and instead of making note and apologizing when challenged, the whole SPEAKING OUR TRUTH motto can even be the battle cry we use, when we bat that accountability away from us.
Honest, direct kind communication in a relationship is a beautiful and very necessary thing.
HOWEVER, Honesty without compassion is brutality.
Keep it kind, kids! AND be open to being called in by our partners when, perhaps, our truth, was cuttingly honest.
So how do we check ourselves BEFORE we open that mouth wide?
How do we discern what really NEEDS to be said? and when, and how, and to whom??
I have a great filter I offer to clients, that helps to mediate in their own heads, what really needs to be said and when.
Does it need to be said?
Does it need to be said, BY ME?
Does it need to be said, RIGHT NOW?
How many times does it need saying?
If we can pause, long enough to drop our thought through this entire 4 step filter, one level at a time, we can be a lot more sure that what comes out the other side of said filter, is the truth, that needs speaking.
Let's walk through this communication saving filter, one step at a time, together!
FILTER 1; Does it need to be said?
Let’s stand in our own truth, all by ourselves, for a minute. Does what you are about to say REALLY NEED to be said? First check, is this life or death? No. Okay. Second check, is this statement helpful or hurtful? What if I don’t say this? What happens then?
Many, many of your truths will race on beyond this first filter. Hurrah!
However, a handful of truly repetitive unnecessary statements, that will have not positive effect nor outcome, will die a natural beautiful death here too. HURRAH!
FILTER 2; Does it need to be said, BY ME?
Unsolicited advice anyone?? I know, you want to encourage and help your partner succeed at the office, or at that weight loss goal, or at training for that marathon… HOWEVER, do they have a boss? A personal trainer? A marathon training group???? IF yes, um…. Maybe it’s NOT your place to be saying it???
Ooh. This is a good one. Will it best heard, if said, BY YOU?
Ever been incredibly frustrated when your partner seems to take advice from someone else and run with it? Leaving you there slack jawed and angry because YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING THE SAME THING TO THEM FOR OVER A YEAR!?!
I bet, if you give it some thought, there are things that you don’t hear as clearly when your partner says them either. Sometimes, even positive things. Maybe they tell you, you look great in that outfit, and you roll your eyes. An hour later at the party, and your mother in law says it, and BOOM, you’re beaming?
Oh. Ohhhhhh. Right. Got it?
FILTER #3 Does it need to be said RIGHT NOW?
Some of us, live in a bit of a state of emergency. Whatever comes to our mind, whatever our needs are, WE FEEL WE MUST TO EXPRESS THEM, IN THAT VERY MOMENT. Here is the problem with that urgency, we often bring up topics, that are indeed important, they have passed with flying colours through filter one and two, and then we shoot the whole conversation in the foot, by bringing it up at exactly the wrong time and wrong place, to have a good discussion around it.
Even for those of you, who are not incessantly and urgently truthing a constant stream, choosing the right time and right place, the most conducive environment, still may very well be where you have been going wrong.
A couple I worked with last year, came to me complaining that there was no communication. The husband, truly frustrated, stated whenever “I do bring it up, it’s NEVER the right time! We have to talk about this stuff!”
Turns out, when we unpicked the limiting beliefs off that statement, he was almost always bringing it up as they were getting ready for bed, on a weeknight. And his partner was absolutely exhausted, and couldn’t even see straight, let alone talk straight.
Together, we found them just the right time AND place, for these very essential conversations to take place and flourish, for both of them!
FILTER # 4 How many times does it need saying?
Feeling like a broken record? Finding yourself saying “I don’t mean to nag” or “Don’t MAKE ME INTO A NAG” ?
I get it. Maybe if you say it over and over and over and over, they will finally HEAR you! That, it’s a numbers game, right? I mean, one of these days, what you are asking of them, will resonate and they will jump up, exclaiming AHA and do it, right??
Yeah. How’s that working for you?
I am going to guess, mostly, its driving YOU nuts. And the only person who seems to be wearing down under the weight of these repeated words, is YOU.
Repetition can also be an indicator of importance. So if we over use the communication tool that is repetition, we can make it impossible for our partners to discern and prioritise what’s being asked of them.
Like any communication tool, for it to be effective, it needs to be used wisely.
Now you have this fab filter. You are dropping your thoughts down through it, and starting to experience great success! Now what?
True partnerships cannot have communication, discourse and collaboration without listening too. LISTENING is the other half of communication. If we want the filter to work, for the communication to be effective and filled with love… We must make sure, we are not so caught up in standing in our truth and being heard, that we stop listening! If we are spending all of our time, thinking and mapping out responses, how we will deliver ‘our truth’, and real talking ‘our truth’ at every opportunity, we kill communication, dead.
And, that my darlings, is the very last thing any thriving partnership needs!
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