Have you ever witnessed a teen and her mom laughing and sharing together and wished that you had that connection with your child? How did they get there? What do they know that you don’t know?
Good, Strong Relationships are Built on Friendship.
How Do You Communicate?
“I feel underappreciated and am tired of picking up all your stuff.” (I statement) “Please be more mindful.” (voicing a wish…how to make it right)
…is a very different message than
“You’re so messy and disorganized”(can you feel the finger being pointed at your loved one?) “I can’t take your chaos… this room is disgusting!“(who your spouse or child is as a person, at their core was just attacked and made to feel like a serious detriment. I can almost feel the shame that was just fertilized and watered)
Complaint #1 voices a complaint with an “I statement” and a wish attached, While message #2 attacks the person and makes them feel unworthy of you.
What we Say & How we Say it Can Fertilize or Scorch a Relationship:
Choose Words Wisely
Relationships that feel safe tend to yield themselves to curiosity and exploration.
Remember that scenario of a teen and her mom? It is impossible to have a close-knit safe bond if interactions erode the person and relationship. When we communicate love and support and these are felt in the relationship, trust breeds.
“I can let her in…tell her about my friends who are drinking because I know she won’t judge and I trust that she will give me guidance and direction”
I want my teen to be thinking this! To be brought into his/her level; to help them navigate life because there is trust and respect.
“I’m struggling with my boss. I know I’m getting defensive and reactive, but sometimes….”
I want my spouse to be able to talk to me this openly. To be able to share weaknesses and flaws and vulnerability means s/he feels safe and trusts that opening up and sharing will improve the situation and NOT harm it.
How do you Feed Your Relationships?
Who is the Author?
Gabrielle Anderson, lmft is the owner of the Family Therapy Center in Ashburn as well as a Marriage and Family therapist. She is a married mother of 2 and lives in Loudoun county. Contact Gabrielle here if you would like to schedule an appointment for couples counseling or individual therapy to help get you or your relationship back on the path to wellness.