Love without communication is just a word. Love must be expressed to find fulfilment, and communicating love is about much more than speaking words of affection, encouragement, and life.
How can we know that love is being communicated? Well, it doesn’t sound like control. It doesn’t sound like an ultimatum for us to comply with or risk losing affection. Love doesn’t feel like frosty silence or a cold shoulder.
Love is like a warm fire on a cold night. It feels like a hug and sounds like, “Are you OK?” It looks like a meal prepared, dishes washed, and lawns mowed. Love is profoundly simple.
Love is communicated in a myriad of ways. One of life’s great adventures is discovering the love language of those we love and learning to speak it.
Stop. Breathe. Think about how you can communicate love to those you love in the way they need it.
Love is communicated in a myriad of ways.
How well do I communicate love to the people closest to me?
Who in my close group of family and friends needs loving communication today?
Why do we communicate? Is it for the joy of connection? Or is it to make a point and have our view acknowledged? Is it to prove our rightness or to understand the other?
Our motive in communicating, matters. And it will always emerge – if we seek to control – it will be felt – if not heard.
“There are only two ways to influence human behaviour; you can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.”—Simon Sinek
There’s no joy in manipulation. There may be some satisfaction for the manipulator—but it doesn’t lead to healthy relationships—the fruit is rotten to the core.
It’s time to take stock of why and how we communicate. Is it to hear or be heard? Is it to understand or to be understood?
Stop. Breathe. Let joy flood your communication as you connect with the people in your life.
Our motive in communication matters. There’s no joy in manipulation.
Do people feel joy in communicating with me?
How can I practice joyful communication with others today?
Do you know how to communicate in an attitude of peace? Do you use your words to be a peacemaker? Or do your words pour petrol on the flame? Peacemaking differs from peacekeeping. Communicating peace doesn’t mean being a doormat.
If you’re breathing—you know that how we communicate builds up or tears down. Peace and chaos find their voice in communication – whether verbal or non-verbal.
Brené Brown says, “Peace is born from clean, clear, and kind communication. If there are no communication boundaries—resentment, confusion, and even fear may be the result.”
What was the last thing you said to those you love? Was it peace-filled, clear, and kind? Or was there a tinge of disappointment, a hint of resentment? We all do it, but we can all choose a better way, one that’s life-filled.
Stop. Breathe. Partner with peace as you communicate with all who come your way.
Peace is born from clean, clear, and kind communication—Brené Brown
How peaceful do I feel while communicating with others?
How can I be a person of peace when communicating with my closest friends?
Are you patient in your communication with friends and family? Do you take time to work with those who don’t understand your meaning—or do you sigh heavily when they don’t get it?
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone who’s exasperated because you don’t comprehend what they’re talking about or trying to show you?
It’s hard! Sometimes the frustration is at our inability to communicate clearly, though we might take it out on the other person rather than admit we aren’t doing such a great job of explaining.
It’s been said that “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”
Taking a few extra minutes to interact and communicate with others tells them they’re important and worth our time.
Stop. Breathe. Embrace patience in your communication, and you’ll discover the gold residing
in yourself and others.
The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply—Unknown
Do I interrupt conversations to get my point across?
How can I champion others to speak up when in a group?
What makes communication kind? Is it softening our natural response when we’re angry? How about being honest when we’re disappointed or feeling let down by another’s actions?
Having the courage to confront someone on their behaviour is kinder than letting hurt fester and turn into resentment. The longer an issue stays unresolved, the more bitterness will take root and focus its attention on the person rather than their actions.
What’s kinder—dealing swiftly with an issue—keeping short accounts and moving on, or letting resentment build until it leads to potentially damaging communication?
Brené Brown famously said in her book Dare to Lead, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.”
Initially, it might feel uncomfortable, but kind communication honours everyone.
Stop. Breathe. Take some time to consider how you can make your communication kinder, transforming your relationships in the process.
Having the courage to confront someone on their behaviour is kinder than letting hurt fester and turn into resentment.
Is there a ring of kindness that marks my communication?
How can I help bring awareness to behaviour that needs adjustment?
Are there times when my behaviour needs adjusting in the light of kindness?
Or does my behaviour need to submit to kindness?
What does good communication look and sound like to you?
How do people communicate goodness to you? And how do you communicate worth to others? Do you speak words of life, or is your conversation laced with criticism?
Good communication is as much about what we don’t say as what we do. It’s about giving room for the other—paying attention—being present. It’s responding to the heart cry of another.
If we can look at the humans we meet and respond to people, just like us, filled with hopes, dreams, fears, sadness, loss, and love—our communication will be naturally seasoned with goodness and kindness.
It’s been said that “The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”
Stop. Breathe. Be the reason someone smiles today.
Good communication is as much about what we don’t say as what we do.
Does goodness find its way into the words I speak?
Who do I need to improve communication with?
To whom do I need to improve my communication so that it’s good?
Is there anyone in my life who doesn’t feel good after we communicate?
How can I make sure others feel good about communicating with me?
What does it mean to be faithful in our communication?
It might be telling the truth in love. Maybe it’s choosing not to gossip, or it could be holding our tongue and being faithful to those who’ve shared their heart with us.
It may be a faithful retelling of another’s communication – without the need to put our spin on it.
Faithfulness in communication makes our yes—yes and our no—no. It’s standing by our word, even when it’s inconvenient. It’s speaking to people instead of about them. It looks like respect.
Being faithful builds safety and trust and invites vulnerability. Without vulnerability, relationships wither away.
As therapist and author Dr Susan Forward puts it, “Successful adult relationships, whether between lovers or friends, require a significant degree of vulnerability, trust, and openness.”
Stop. Breathe. Contemplate how you can be faithful to your friends and family in your communication.
Faithfulness in communication makes our yes—yes and our no—no.
Do I embellish facts when communicating? Can I be more faithful to the facts?
If communication is part of connection, is there someone I need to reconnect with?
Gentleness doesn’t shout to be heard. On the contrary, gentleness disarms anger like nothing else. It will shoot your message home in a way no argument can.
Gentleness sets the scene for effective, two-way communication—for dialogue instead of a monologue.
It’s hard to backtrack into gentleness. Coming with a soft voice, kind heart and willingness to understand is a choice to listen and seek understanding. When we launch into offence or defence—the possibility for gentleness is lost.
Gentleness looks for a way forward, a way through and is humble enough to admit when in the wrong.
Gentleness and humility in communication are a winning combination.
Stop. Breathe. Choose to partner with gentleness as you communicate with friends, family, colleagues and strangers and watch what happens.
It’s hard to backtrack into gentleness.
How can I develop a foundation of gentleness in my communication?
Who would benefit from a greater measure of gentleness from me in our communication?
Tearing people down with our words may feel good in the moment—but it comes with strings attached. Once said—spiteful, hurtful, and humiliating communication can’t be taken back.
Friendships, years in the making, can be lost in a moment of anger.
Self-control is our saving grace and looks like the wisdom to hold our tongue when we want to lash out.
Many people feel entitled to express every thought they have when they have them, in the name of authenticity and self-expression. But the fruit is rarely healthy.
Self-control is maturity. It responds instead of reacting. Self-control considers the other person’s point of view and doesn’t need to be right at the expense of the relationship.
As the theologian and author Thomas Merton put it, “Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.”
Stop. Breathe. Receive self-control as a gift, and let it show the world who you truly are.
Friendships, years in the making, can be lost in a moment of anger.
Do I need to develop a ‘count to ten’ practice before speaking?
How can I be an example to others of self-control when communicating?
Do I need to develop more self-control when communicating?
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