Relationships are either a source of renewal or source of drama. If you continue to experience relationship drama it may be an unconscious communication pattern, which makes others feel unsafe around you. Here are four communication mistakes and how to correct them.
2. Giving advice too soon
4. Betraying trust
Rolling your eyes when you disagree; saying “don’t make such a big deal out of it,” or forgetting to keep a small promise are some of the various ways you might be discounting others. You may even say, “it’s no big deal,” which is yet another way to minimize what you have done so you can avoid looking at your own patterns.
Solution: Show respect. Stop rolling your eyes, and simply express your disagreement. What is a big deal to one person is small beans to another. Never tell anyone their issue isn’t important.
Giving Advice Too Soon
How do you know if you gave advice too soon? You will trigger a “drama response” in the form of anger, defensiveness, or pouting. Most of us, even when it seems that we are asking for advice, usually want something else. Right or wrong, we want to be heard, we want agreement, or we want to vent.
Solution: Your goal is to make sure they feel understood. The way to accomplish this is to listen-acknowledge, instead of jumping in with an instant solution. Before offering solutions, acknowledge how the other person feels without rescuing, agreeing or making her wrong. For example, “It sounds like you were really angry,” then wait for her response. Once she calms down she may be open to your advice or opinion. A good rule of thumb to remember is this: the solution is always secondary to feeling understood.
Your spouse or partner will avoid you like the plague if when they are around you they feel judged. Calling someone “stupid,” or saying things like, “I would never do that,” or telling your loved one what he should have done, is a sure-fire way to make him avoid you. As I mentioned before, giving advice too early can also be seen as a form of judgment.
Solution: Accept your partner and be open. The best way to avoid judgment is to listen and become curious instead of jumping to conclusions.
Besides leaking a secret, teasing is another way of betraying trust. When you know someone has a sore spot and you bring it up in public you represent yourself as one who is not safe to share sensitive information with.
Solution: Consider your loved one’s feelings and avoid the temptation to tease them about their weaknesses. They are not good at numbers? They can’t balance a checkbook? They are directionally challenged? It’s fine if they want to be the one sharing this information in a humorous way but it’s not OK for you to.
A good rule of thumb: Don’t tease anyone unless it puts them in a positive light and honors them.