Albert Pujols, the high priced acquisition of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team, commenting on the team’s recent resurgence, said “talking helps,” and “we weren’t communicating.” The need for communication can be seen in almost every sport as teams constantly adjust to the changing conditions of a game.
Years ago a doctor researching the causes of hysteria in women discovered ‘the talking cure.’ He was ridiculed for his ideas by the medical profession many of whom believed in bizarre cures that weren’t in the least helpful in relieving the suffering of these women. But Sigmund Freud’s talking cure worked. In many ways that description is misleading. His cure could as well be called a ‘listening’ cure. Freud invented the radical idea of listening to women. Imagine that.
In sports and in marriage, in business and in politics there is no replacement for careful listening and talking through the challenges that occur daily.
But, not only that, Pujols emphasized the importance of minor almost imperceptible adjustments during a game that keep everyone focused on what’s happening and what needs to happen. Critical in a game of constant change.
In marriage, “letting it slide,” “why bother?” and “he/she won’t listen anyway” – all sabotage intimate connection (a marriage’s definition of success) and therefore threaten love.
The biggest challenge in my work with couples is this: the restoration of belief that intimate connection (and necessary). Gaining ‘traction’ for individually taking 100% responsibility for needed change is second.
We trace the need for restoring belief in the still living possibilities of relationship all the way back to the moment you chose each other. At that magical time you both believed that you would always be committed to communicate and that you’d never lose your desire for connection.
The 100% rule simply means that each of you take full responsibility for what’s missing. Stop trying to divide it up – ‘you know part of the fault is mine…” No, all of the ‘fault’ is yours and all of the ‘fault’ is your partner’s. It’s 100% your individual responsibility to ‘own’ the fullness of your relationship and its quality.
Good communication requires these things:
- A restoration of belief that both of you desire deep and sustainable connection;
- A willingness to take complete responsibility for that together with an invitation to your partner to do the same;
- A commitment to let nothing slide, to address challenges, misunderstandings, fears and anxieties as they occur.
Another way to say this: always keep it simple, keep it current and keep it real. What’s that – KISCR?
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