There is a huge difference between what the ideal is if you are to practice spirituality in your relationships, and what the reality is how people act and react in their relationships, regardless if they are spiritual or not.
The Ideal is healthy communication that is direct and honest. Overrated? Not really. It’s the issue that keeps coming up in much of the literature I read on dating and relationships. I believe it’s the hardest part in a relationship because we bring in our own “baggage” about communication.
Some of us assume actions and words. Some of us are implicit in our actions towards others. Some of us are passionate in our words, but not so much in our actions. Et cetera, et cetera.
Notice that I placed 2 types of pics as part of this post. One shows a clear sign of a married couple holding hands. The other pic is 2 women hugging. These pics are there for your reminder that “relationships” is a broad term. It encompasses the types that are sexually intimate and the types that are friendship and familial based.
It would do us very well to ask, “What does the spirituality that I practice ask me to do about communication in my relationships?” Most likely, it will be a challenging response. But the fact is it’s better to be healthy in our communication; basically, it’s healthy to be direct and honest. This liberates communication to a grand scale! There is no need to “read between the lines,” or to presume, assume, and hope for some action or word that may or may not come.
One failure of healthy communication was when I had invited my friend to go out to lunch with me with plenty of advance notice. We agreed on a time, and we did meet. But I purposely withheld the fact I wasn’t going to eat because I was fasting as a spiritual practice for nine days. I purposely withheld this fact from my friend in hopes that my decision to fast would just be brushed off. I assumed it would be brushed off. Well, it wasn’t and it became a hurtful decision of mine. My communication was not direct, and not completely “open” which was a type of dishonesty.
In another event, I asked a woman to come out with me to grab coffee and chat. I never used the word “date.” In fact, I wasn’t sure I wanted to use that word. I wanted to just enjoy her company. Later on, the woman reference the event as a date, and said she was confused about how I acted very nonchalant and yet still bought her coffee and food. I presumed she was not going to view the event as a date, and yet she did want it to be, so naturally felt disappointed in the outcome. Unfortunately, I could have just stated from the start that our get together was just as friends.
I offer two articles that speak about communication. One is from a dating perspective, BUT ask yourself: can any of this information be applied to my communication with my friends? I bet you’ll find yourself seeing that the rules for communication in dating actually apply just as well to your friendships. The other article gives a great introduction to the reasons for nonviolent communication. You will do well to look into that communication training in the near future.
A healthy spiritual person will do well to reach for the ideal of being direct and honest in all relationships.
- “Was it a date?” (http://loveandrespectnow.com/2013/04/ask-joy-asks-you-was-it-a-date/)
This blog post is a response to a guy’s question/frustration about bad assumptions, and the comments are just as awesome with great stories of the benefits from healthy communication and the downfall of implicit communication.
- “Spiritual Basis of Nonviolent Communication” (https://www.cnvc.org/learn-online/spiritual-basis/spiritual-basis-nonviolent-communication) This webpage is a fantastic read to understand the need for nonviolent communication in our society.