How to REALLY Communicate

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Photo taken at the Tor, Glastonbury, UK

If there is one thing that has room for improvement, its interpersonal communication. There are only a few people out there that are really good at it, and well, the rest have a lot of catching up to do — including me. That does sounds harsh, but lets be honest here, communication wasn’t taught in standard schooling and isn’t practiced enough in a constructive way. The majority of the time, learning how to communicate came from watching our parents and feeling our way blindly through society. The communication I refer to is the common everyday interactions that tend to lack any real substance. How to REALLY communicate, requires a few key elements.

Trust:

In society today, trust is the element that is dangling in the wind — the point of view of the city life style. In small communities, trust is a whole lot stronger because people tend to know everyone anyway. However, trust plays a major role when communicating, it requires a certain level of vulnerability in an individual. Human connection is lacking in our modern day and, as time progresses, this connection will become weaker and weaker, if we let it. Not only is trust among people suffering, trust within ourselves is wavering as well. Learning discernment, and paying attention to how you truly feel are important factors to building trust within the self — this, in turn, will be reflected in our reality when communicating with other people.

Thinking:

Too often we don’t think deeply enough before speaking. A lot of the time there are reactions to what other people say and not enough responding. To react means to take what the another person says personally and immediately reflect back to that person an equally or more hurtful statement. To respond means to hear what the person is saying, understand how the person feels and use empathy. Its also important to be as clear as possible when conveying ideas and feelings with another person, as well as listening carefully.

If someone is in the position of the speaker and is leading a conversation which involves requesting something of another person, it’s best to be as clear as possible in order to not create confusion. In a marriage, a wife may say to her husband, in an irritated tone: “We never talk about anything,” implying she wants to talk about something more in depth. The husband could take this as an attack or criticism. He could also think: “We just talked about what to eat for dinner.” To communicate more effectively, and get what you want, the wife could say: “It was such a beautiful sunny day, how did you feel during work today?” This has the potential to open up a person for connection, more than hearing something that sounds like an antagonistic statement, rather than a clear request.

If the person in the position of the listener is left in a place where he or she feels they have to react rather than respond, its best to pay close attention to what the speaker is saying and choose a response that appropriately fits the situation. For example: A customer may say to a store employee: “You’re an asshole for not letting me use the restroom!” As a response to that customer, the store employee could say: “It seems you’re very frustrated at the moment, since you really need to use the toilet, however, next door has toilets that are open to the public.” The store employee does two things here; first, he or she doesn’t take personally what the customer has said to him/her; and secondly, assists in providing a solution that would fulfill the customer’s need. We all know the need to use the restroom has the potential to prevent us from being calm. In other situations, listening could require additional empathy, refer to my blog about Listening.

Finding the Bravery:

To open up and connect with another person you don’t know demands a lot of courage. A lot of people out there, including myself, are genuinely shy people — undercover introverts. However, if the desire to make connections is there, certain steps need to be taken. The first step is to assure yourself that the other person is NOT going to destroy you. As a person taking initiative in starting a conversation, it can be nerve-wracking, as negative thoughts about how the other person will perceive you seep into your mind. You begin to sweat, stutter, or loose track of what you wanted to say to begin with — take your time. The second step is to be confident in who you are, that means don’t be afraid to talk about yourself, but don’t forget to listen to what the other person has to say about themselves too. Often times, when you start a conversation, you find a common interest and things progress organically — that’s the goal! The third step is to realise that not everyone is going to want to connect with you right away — or at all — and that is perfectly fine. Keep in mind that the people who come into your life are meant to, even if things look horrible.

In short, how to REALLY communicate requires, trust, thinking, empathy and responding. With these tool at your disposal you’ll see yourself much more clearly and thus you’ll see other people a lot more clearly, too. You’ll establish connections that’ll be much more solid and long-lasting — that’s what it’s all about. We’re here to connect with each other and grow, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Theories: Triad Relationships

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Photo from theatlantic.com

Throughout mainstream media, society, and in our personal life, we all know that in relationships there is “supposed” to be one man and one woman or— what’s becoming more and more acceptable these days— same sex couples. However, there are relationships out there that have more than two people in them, and I’m not talking about open relationships, or the infamous threesomes. I’m talking about an actual relationship that has three people engaged in an equal exchange of physical and emotional connections. At the same time, what I’ll be writing about is my personal theory in the how a triad relationship can work and the general requirements for it to be successful. A lot of this is coming from my own perspective, I’ve spent a lot of time meditating in the past three years and connecting with my own heart, clearing out the social conditioning and pressures to see the vast potential in a union such as a triad. I want to be clear as well that this subject matter is not full on polyamory, much rather, a joining of hearts in a way that would only magnify what already is in the traditional one-man one-woman scenario. Furthermore, I’ll be discussing this based on a triad that consists of two women and one man. As I believe, with a combination of two-women one-man triad relationship, there is a higher potential for it working more successfully. I am not saying this is the case in all situations, but, as I’ve seen from many observations I’ve made throughout my life, women connect on a deeper level with other women rather than men to men. Granted if a man in a triad is open to the idea of another man, the situation is left open for interpretation, as is for all the other combinations.

In any “normal” relationship there is the exchange of love, support, compassion, carrying out house chores and taking vacations together. With a triad, it’s the same exact thing but with a third party. I know what you’re thinking, why a third person? However, a better questions is, why “not” a third person? Having a third person creates a greater dynamic in various situations a one-to-one relationship wouldn’t have. Often times in a one-to-one relationship, disagreements arises where you have both people reacting to each other as if it were a fifteen minute ping pong match. Majority of the time, in the heat of the moment, two angry people are screaming at each other until someone backs down and really starts listening; or worse, gives up. In other times that same heated situation can last for days or months and eventually there is a separation. On the other hand, having a third person increases the chance of there being a mediator, thus, arguments are had and there’s a higher chance of peace being made because that third person can hear what the first two are in conflict about.

One of the major qualities of having a triad relationship is the exchange of love. I’m not talking sex, I’m talking about raw love energy. Imagine feeling disappointed about not getting a job promotion you’ve work really hard to get, or feeling insecure because your art work didn’t get the amount of positive feedback you had hoped for. Receiving the love and support from two people you love equally has a huge amount of potential for making you feel comforted, accepted and encouraged in an instant—for a longer period of time. Imagine how a child would feel with this amount of love and compassion coming from two mothers—the idea of this alone presents a plausible reason for having a triad relationship. Also, that’s not to mention the practicality of it all; less rent to pay, twice the cuddles, twice the hugs, someone being there for the children, always having someone to talk to, and to top it all off; the potential for amazing sex.

The biggest reason that a triad wouldn’t work, would be primarily due to a lack of communication, secondly, close-mindedness. Just like in a one-to-one relationship, communicating is key—not just talking about any old thing, but talking about true feelings. If the members entering a triad don’t have a good handle on communicating their feelings, any one can be pushed out or be left feeling like the third wheel. A consistent flow of stating what each member wants and needs, and what their goals and

 Photo from theprodentist.com

Photo from theprodentist.com

plans are is essential for it to be a successful relationship. Lets face it, there will be times where each member will have moments of insecurity, embarrassment and shame, just like in a one-to-one. It takes a very open-minded person to even explore a triad, so if your mind is already closed to it, then it’s not the best thing to get into. Thinking only on the sexual parts and not the emotional parts will bite you on the butt harder than an angry Rottweiler. Just be prepared to face shadows that will arise within a triad relationship — they will hit you quickly.

What brought me to this conclusion that a triad is beneficial was due to many self-realisations and basic logic. As I’ve mentioned, I meditate often. When you meditate often enough, you start peeling away the social and parental domestications that are put in place during childhood. Watching T.V. movies, real life people and over hearing conversations; we all are under the influence and pressure of what other people think and say. Meditation connects you with your core self, dissolving the introjections that were infused into the mind by society and the people closest to us. The ideas, of what “should” be, that you once thought were you own, were actually someone else’s— probably someone from eons ago. This is what I’ve discovered in myself: connections, relationships and love are not limited to a one-to-one relationship and can be so much more enriching with a third. The extra additive of perspective, love and joy is as great as having a warm fudge brownie with strawberry ice cream and caramel syrup. At the same time a triad works with all members on the same level of thinking and is exclusive to each other. I don’t consider it being a playground for sexual pleasures, its to really connect on a spiritual, mental and emotional level.

You’re probably thinking, what is so wrong with a one-to-one relationship? Absolutely nothing! If that’s your preference, then it’s your choice; however, is that preference based on your own idea or the ideas of another long past? In retrospect, it doesn’t really matter at all, yet, a triad relationship has an ample amount of potential for enhancing the way we view ourselves and the world when it comes to love and making emotional connections. Triad relationships could be the next evolutionary step in bringing a more harmonious way of living for all of man-kind.