It is easy to forget that our personal relationships are our most precious resource for coping with life in unstable and uncertain times. What we most need is each other, and we need this because we are learning, growing and developing.
Is it not true that we learn from others around us how to behave and how not to behave? Our environment teaches us the same, what we like, what we don’t like, and where we want to be. The environment speaks loudly to us in many situations.
Although Personal Relationships give us the different meanings in life, which many of us are searching for, most people’s favorite subject is themselves. As long as they hear messages about themselves they will be attentive. As long as the message has some implications for them they will listen. As long as the message relates to their own circumstances, they will be involved.
People are engrossed by bad news; it catches their attention, stories of aircraft crashes and other disasters, for example because they can see the potential significance to those stories in their own personal relationships.
Even stories of murder and pandemonium, and especially when it has randomness to it about the choice of victim, has an irresistible fascination to us because we can see all too easily how we might become involved ourselves. Yes it catches our attention very easily and we are extracted away from what we are doing or who we are communicating with at the time.
Have you ever been sitting with a friend and telling your story and they are looking everywhere else and paying no attention to what you have to say. You feel your story is so important to you at that time and that is why you are sharing it, yet your friend’s attention is on everything ‘but’ you and your story. You actually feel less than, and your value drops considerably in that moment.
This can be a crisis point in communication in Personal Relationships and has great relevance on learning how to build trust in any friendship or partnership. Really ‘why’ is so difficult for people to really listen to others and pay attention when it is not about them.
The reason for this is because people do not know how to place themselves unselfishly outside of themselves (the box) and give their undivided attention to the other person unless there is something in for them. It is sad really we have not been taught from a young age the real true way to communicate, to have compassion for others and be empathic. It is sadly just not a part of our learning.
If we were to make communication a vital part of our learning we would have astounding conversations and better communication skills with greater outcomes for everyone involved.
The key word behind this is ‘Identification.’ When we find ourselves identifying with a person in a news item, a character in a movie, or novel, we are drawn into the story, which doesn’t happen if we remain spectators to it.
Again this is so true even in our own Personal Relationships we need to be drawn in by the conversation to give it our full attention to it. Our identity with this other person is matching our identity of our world.
Personal Identification is a powerful response because it arises from our ability to connect what we are seeing or feeling with our own situation or relationships. If in personal conversations the communication is not stimulating to our taste buds we will switch off and not really be involved.
I suppose the term we could use here which is well known to us all is ‘selective hearing.’ Hearing and listening are two totally different concepts, hearing is being aware, yet listening is about understanding another person’s point of view and this is what people want.
I have been asked regularly about this and the reasons why people do this, in the book from Fountainhead Retreat 28 days to beat the blues by Michelle Mark and Wayne Parrott, they talk about the reasoning mind, they also refer to a person will always take priority over a belief in any situation or event at that particular time.
What I have found is that even in personal conversations if we are really worried, nervous, or upset particularly women we will focus on this in conversations because our priority is to address this to come to an answer or solution, the mind is looking for a way to resolve this issue
Men are different they tend to deal more with action rather than talking these issues over, which still has an adverse effect which is suppression, although more on female and male personal relationships in my coming blogs.
My question to you is ‘what is the most important part of a conversation to you’ and ‘what do you like to receive from them’? If you wrote this down and noted this, and became more aware in your relationships you would see where this is being honored.