Freely expressing your feelings and needs
Creating an atmosphere of respect and trust
Over time a relationship or marriage can get stuck in a rut, or distance and a reduction in intimacy and passion occur. In short, the love is not what it used to be anymore. Sometimes an atmosphere of conflict or hate has even developed. Both partners end up in a vicious cycle of criticism, reproaches and demands and do not know how to break out of this. Compassionate communication is a technique to break this cycle and bring trust, respect and love back into the relationship.
Compassionate communication means interacting and communicating in such a way that more understanding and connection develop. Five elements play a key role: perception, meaning, feeling, need and request. Often people are not aware of these elements or confuse them. A subjective meaning is often easily viewed as a fact. People frequently do not acknowledge their own feelings and needs or they don’t express them (the other should know that I …). A request to the other may be expressed as a demand or a reproach.
Compassionate communication helps you break the negative cycle by:
- Starting to observe each other’s behaviour objectively
- Acknowledging the meaning you assign to this and adjust it if necessary
- Becoming aware of deeper feelings and needs
- Translating your needs into a concrete request for the other person
Compassionate communication also involves discovering wat is a sign of love for your partner and yourself. We are too quick to assume that the other person knows that you love them. Love is not sustained just by itself. Like the gas tank of a car, the reservoir of love needs to be replenished regularly. People, however, have different kinds of fuel, different signs of love. For some people, a present is a token of love, for others it’s a touch, a compliment or a service. Once you know the other’s fuel, it’s easier to replenish it. Thus you can sustain a feeling of love, intimacy and passion, even after many years.
The art of communicating effectively is:
- Being able to separate fact and meaning
- Being aware of your feelings and needs
- Translating a need into a concrete request for the other person
- Regularly giving each other signs of love
In this way, people can get to know each other better, even after years, and give their relationship a new boost.