I didn’t want to say anything until I was sure, but I will be moving into the garden apartment on May 5th! You all really don’t know how much of a trip the last year has been for me. It’s literally aged me. That was some wave! But you know how I roll: I may not be able to stop the waves, but I can learn to surf.
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There’s a myth going around that women are in better touch with their feelings and that’s a load of crap! In my experience, women are just as lousy at communicating their feelings as men. In fact, men and women both fare poorly when it comes to communication. Sometimes it seems to me that we live in a society in which everybody speaks and no one listens.
That’s the reason why the vast majority of relationships fail or are unsatisfactory to the participants. We cannot have a relationship without some kind of communication. Just so that we’re all on the same page, let me offer a definition (from Webster’s) of the word communicate:
2. To convey knowledge of or information about
3. To open to each other
4. To reveal by clear signs
5. To transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is received and understood
Yet despite the above definition, essence is seldom communicated. Most of the time, people will communicate from their egos, emotions, desires, or expectations.
Expectations and desires are a big one for me. Recently, I found myself powerfully attracted to a woman. For a while, much of my communication was grounded in that attraction and I began to cultivate expectations. I wanted to hold this woman in my arms, make love to her, explore the potential in what I assumed were mutual feelings. But whenever this woman would distance herself, it would make me crazy. When my expectations weren’t met, I would be hurt. Soon enough, my Mini Me (ego) was talking a mile a minute.
This is why I stay single! LOL
What happened was that a relationship that began with no agenda (on my part), now was full of agendas and counter agendas and soon it felt as if I were trapped in one of those funhouses where everything is distorted. The mirrors are all wrong, and there are tricks of the eye that make you lose your way. It’s fun at an amusement park, but as a way to conduct a relationship, it can be harrowing.
The point then is: how do we get to a place where communication becomes a process of sharing information with as little distortion as possible? How do we become transparent enough that our agendas are on the table not hidden underneath the distortion of lies and hidden motivations? I think the first hurdle to jump is our own self-esteem. If you do not regard your true self as worthwhile and valuable, you will build facades, create distortions, make judgments, or lie.
So the first part is that in order to communicate effectively you must first accept yourself as you are and as good enough as you are. Every human being people alive – is (at their core) a truly valuable, worthwhile being. Many people will disagree with this statement, which proves my point. *grin*
I was once dating a lovely woman who would refuse to take me to her home or pick her up at her place. She had a great ass, so I let her get away with it for a while (alarms were blaring in my head). Finally, as the train we were riding from the beach was passing over the Manhattan Bridge one day, I had had it. I demanded to know why she made excuses every time the issue of her home came up. How could she not trust me, I said. We had made love and were intimate… blah blah blah.
Well, she started crying (I make people cry all the time, it seems) and she pointed to some high rises and said, “That’s where I live.”
I looked and said, “I know! You told me already you live in those high rises! That’s not the issue!”
She shook her head sadly and as she cried, she informed me the high rises wasn’t where she lived, she lived in the housing projects behind the high rises. She was so ashamed of where she lived that she had fabricated this whole series of lies, even to the point of risking losing someone she was intimate with and cared for.
It would be to your benefit to remind yourself all humans have worth, especially during emotionally turbulent times, when your communication may be distorted by your conditioned needs and your self-destruct buttons are being pushed. Remind yourself that the person to whom you are talking to is a valuable, worthwhile being – even if you feel they’re acting like an asshole at that point in time.
Imagine a place where you could not hurt yourself or anyone else. Because we often place obstacles in the way of effective communication, maybe it would be valuable if you took the time to create an environment that allows any level of communication from others. If you want to communicate in a way that creates good relationships, you have to become a safe space designer. You can create a space inside of you where you cannot hurt yourself or anyone else, especially those close to you. In such a space no matter what the differences, information can be communicated with no recriminations, guilt, fear, or punishment.
Now, notice, I have said jack ma’fuccin shit about making the other person a better communicator? That’s because it’s not about him or her, or them, it’s about you.
Get it right…