A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Location 2355). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
That is so true. Relationships are built on give and take, in other words, talking and listening. Not one person talking and the other person listening but each one talking and each one listening, really listening. In there comes understanding and caring.
Now in conflict there usually isn’t any listening. Oh both may be talking, telling their side of the situation, trying to convince the other one that they are right and that blocks communication which in turn damages relationships. You see, relationships are built on the mutual desire to build each other up and not tear them down. And conflict is built on tearing the other person down and building yourself up. In conflict it is all about winning and the other person losing and that is damaging and it eventually could kill the relationship.
I have found in my nearly 40 years of marriage that to stop the conflict one of us, no matter who it is, will stop and start listening to the other side. They will quit trying to prove they are right and strive to understand the other person which in a real relationship will cause the other person to also stop with their arguments for their side and start to listen to and try to understand what the other person is saying and feeling. This is the way real communication will start to happen.
The key is for this to happen as close to the beginning of the conflict as possible so there won’t be any real damage done and there is always potential for real damage in conflict. This in no way will work if one person has to always be right. There was only one person on this earth who was always right and they killed Him. So listen for the part where the other person is right and tell them what it is and they in turn may come back and tell you where you are right. That only happens though when you really listen and you really care about the other person.
There must be communication for relationships to grow. I’m not always real good at this. I am pretty introspective and can be pretty quiet. I am a stay at home retired person and my wife, Margaret is in a new job. Her job is the reason why we now live in California and I am real interested in how her days have gone. Now it would be natural for me to just leave her alone when she gets home but that is not what we do. So for the first hour before we head into watching TV we don’t turn the TV on but we go through her day at work. She tells me the good and the bad. It is one of the best hours of our day. She’s interested in sharing and I’m interest in knowing and understanding. I also share but as a retired guy my days aren’t as complicated. The key is we really care about each other and we show that by being interested in the other person. That is done in so many ways but one of the most meaningful ones is we communicate, we talk.