Posted by Linda
It is Spring. Time to let go of the old, whether it be the old stuff in your closet or the tired old ways of attempting to work out a solution to your problems with others, and breathe in the new fresh breath of the season. We can look at the new beauty that surrounds us just as we can breathe life into our relationships with our children and our partners. It is so easy to keep on doing what we’ve been doing in order to work out our problems, but as it has been said, the easiest way to get the same results is to keep on doing what you have been doing in the past.
It is really hard to make changes in the way that we relate from people especially when it comes to issues that are really important to us, like our parenting ideas and as parents how we work out problems that develop between us. Having a child is an amazing and wonderful experience, but it is fraught with challenges, many of which we have never faced before.
Most of the time when we are listening or trying to talk about what bothers us, we have a hard time making a really complete presentation about what is going on. I know that I can be so emotional, that I’m not clearly explaining what is important to me and I forget to make suggestions as to what some possible solutions to the problem might be. If I forget myself and the kind of person I aspire to be, I start blaming or hitting below the belt by implying that the other person is not smart enough to understand what I’m saying anyway. These two means of dealing with issues should be thrown out the door. What I found to be most helpful is a system of talking and listening. The last blog that I wrote was about listening, but now I want to tell you about my experience as a speaker presenting an issue that might really bothers me without blaming my partner for the problem. Everyone plays a part in what goes on in our lives and learning to be responsible for ourselves is a most amazing step that we can take. It empowers us and gives us the freedom of making choices by not being tied down to another person’s actions or lack thereof.
It is always a good idea to talk about an issue when both people are calm and rested. First present the problem, say this time, it is about money, which is often a hot topic. Then, I talk about how I feel about what is going on, like I’m worried and scared when too much money is going for recreation and then there is not enough for the rent, etc. I then would say, in my best language without blaming what I think about the matter. After describing rationally how I think and feel about our budget situation, I then have a chance to talk about what has happened in the past, like we had to move for lack of rent money, and what is happening now. Clearly, this whole situation is very stressful, especially when you have children, but now I have a chance to change this pattern and I express what I want for myself, for my partner and for our family. Finally I know that talking is a first step, but if it isn’t followed by a plan of action, then to me, talking alone may fall very short of what needs to be done.
Each step is followed by a statement from the listener that demonstrates that I’m really being heard. To be and feel heard is a great gift of love.
What has worked for you in your family when trying tow work out issues?