Communication in Relationships:
What's there to talk about?

Communication in relationships is necessary if you want to build, maintain, or repair them. It's not at all necessary if you want to end them. Stop having conversations with someone and they will soon be out of your life.

Unfortunately, this is how relationships in marriages, in families, and among longtime friends and work colleagues often end.

In many cases, ending the relationship was never the intention.

Individuals stopped talking to each other because they no longer knew what to say or how to say it.

Communication shut-downs are just as bad for business as they are for marriages and for friendships.

If a business stops talking to its customers, or its workers stop speaking to each other, it is soon out of business.

"Why does communication in relationships end"?

Communication in relationships ends because of the beliefs we hold about others and what is required to get along with them.

Many of these beliefs are assumptions we invented, but we often live by them as if they are solid scientific truths. We allow them to operate unchallenged in our lives and to dictate how we feel and how we interact with family members, friends, co-workers, and customers.

These beliefs or assumptions undercut any attempts to hold new kinds of conversations with people whom we believe we have figured out. Why try to speak with someone we believe is unwilling to change, self-absorbed, or not trustworthy. It can't happen. Our belief - our language - won't allow it.

New conversations can take place only if there is a change in language. First, notice how the assumptions you have about others limit how much potential you see in them and how much effort you will invest in working with them.

Second, challenge these assumptions.. Look for the soft spot. Ask yourself what you don't see or don't appreciate in those with whom you don't get along because of the language you use to describe or judge them. Look for evidence that is contrary to your opinion.

Next, ask to have conversations that are currently missing in the relationship. Let the other person know your intention is to learn in order to improve the way you live or work together. It's not to win or to prove them wrong or get them to see things your way.

Then, admit your part in letting the relationship deteriorate. Identify instances where you didn't listen well enough or didn't get back to them or were too quick to judge.

Finally, ask for their input. Show interest in what they care about and why they care about it.

Imagine how much communication in marriage, in families, or in the workplace would improve if spouses,family members, and co-workers held these kinds of conversations.

"What do new conversations decide"?

What is most important about communication in relationships is how conversations determine what can or cannot happen in the ways individuals and groups interact.

If they stick with the same old scripts, with the same language, their relationships stay the same. But if they create new conversations, They create a new relationship. New language makes new things happen.

If you are like a lot of people in less than satisfying relationships, new conversations go missing because you don't believe you have the required skills. That may be true.

But what is not true is your assumption that you cannot learn these skills. Challenge that belief. Have a new conversation with yourself. You can learn effective communication skills that will enable you to create new conversations if you take the time to practice them.

Learn these skills and you will solve most communication problems in relationships at home and at work.

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