If you remember last Friday I mentioned that my partner and I had a major communication failure recently. It’s been proven over and over that if you’re in a relationship for a long period of time there are bound to be some fights and failures to communicate. In fact, anytime you have two or more people in close quarters for a long period of time there will be some rough patches. However, all of the challenges we dealt with that day could have been avoided if my partner hadn’t rushed to a judgement and I hadn’t been so slow to communicate the reality of the situation.
In our world of speedy food, speedy communications and speedy travel we expect that other areas of our lives move just as fast and we just get what we want, but all too often this leads to big problems, miscommunicated expectations, rushed communications and crossed lines as to goals and the reality of situations. Unfortunately, unless we all take a more active role in changing this things will continue to get more and more messed up as things move faster and we try to keep up.
I believe this issue is one of the reasons for the number of divorces in our world. I think a lot of people get divorced because they’ve gotten their lines confused so many times that it’s now impossible to untangle from the mess that has been created and it’s simply easier to cut the lines and go your separate ways. And sometimes this is the right thing to do if too many things have changed since you began the relationship or especially if it’s not a healthy situation, sometimes there’s not much else you can do.
So what can we do? First it starts with doing more deep breathing and intentionally taking more time to react and respond to things. No, I’m not necessarily suggesting 24 hours in between communications or before discussing the issue, that’s not realistic in today’s world, but I am suggesting that instead of blasting whatever your first reaction is at your partner that you take a minute, 30 seconds even, to just breathe and really think about what they’re saying or trying to say. And then instead of reacting, ask them a clarifying question. You’ll get a lot farther and have better relationships with everyone if you don’t rush to a reaction.