Just wanted to post this little clip, since it ties in so well with the communication I have been writing about. Listen to what the man says about relationships. We people are not unlike these dogs and bears. Gives us something to think about, doesn’t it? So what is communication? Intention, of course.
He also shows the bears to keep their distance, and in this way there is no problem. Mutual respect.
Intention is the moving force of everything we do. It is the force that builds the bridge between where we are and where we are going. We might have a mental idea of what we want to create, but if it doesn’t fit with the intention, things will go wrong or they will not happen. We need to stop and scrutinize our intention in what we do, because it’s not always obvious. This is most important in goal-setting; not just what we want, but also why we want it.
I talked with a friend and she spoke of something she wanted to create. The idea was clear, but the format unclear. We realized that there could be no clear format, since what she wants to do has never been done. She has to allow the format to create itself from her intention. Sometimes the goal is not clear, and that is when intention will kick in to make it happen. Nobody wakes up one morning with amazing new ideas fully formed.
As you all know, I work also as a therapist and clients come to me for all kinds of reasons. The first thing I do is to listen to them and help them clarify their needs. Then I work with them. At this point I sort of “tune-out” my personal self. My intention is clear; do for this person the best I can. It has nothing to do with me, and by tuning out myself I become a much clearer channel for whatever is needed. If I get personally involved (with thoughts, ideas and emotions based on my experiences) I will influence the treatment to fit my wants, not what is best for the client. This, I might add, took quite some years to learn and accomplish.
We are almost constantly ruled by our emotions; think about it: If we feel good, we think positively and our intentions will be colored by this, the same goes for the opposite. My children used to sometimes pick fights with me, for no reason at all, just for the fun of it. I always fell into the trap and ended up feeling terrible, until one day when I realized that this was not necessary, so I just started to say no to these fights. The only thing that kept me from falling into their devious little traps was the intention that it was not going to happen. To this day (20 somewhat years later) my children still say that I can never be brought into a fight, no use even trying. My intention was stronger than theirs. Ha!
Try it out, my friends, and please tell me what you discover. I love hearing comments.
This is a follow-up to non-violent communication. In all communication intention is always the key. Intention can help to keep you away from anger and other emotional outbursts. What do you want to say? What is your need? Intention will make you much clearer both for yourself and the person you are speaking to.
Here is an actual conversation example; A young couple, newly in love are talking and it turns into a fight: (I use it because it was so short and fast – and so obvious)
He: I am really bothered by the fact that you have your old boyfriends on Facebook. (I am so afraid to lose you, please reassure me.)
She: I have already taken them away, what’s your problem? (What kind of reassurance do you need?)
He: It’s just that you didn’t do it at once, and one guy is still on there! (I don’t know. I just want to know that I am important to you.)
She: Well, what about your ex? Then you should take her off as well! (I need reassurance too.)
He: Her? But that’s not the same thing! We talked about her! (I didn’t realize that.)
She: Ooohh, why are you doing this? It’s the same for me you know…why are we even fighting? Why can you just not listen to what I am saying! (We seem to be having a communication problem.)
A little more of the same, and they sit in unhappy, angry and disappointed silence. After a while they try again and the conversation is more or less exactly the same.
What they are really doing is expressing needs. But when they speak to each-other it comes out as attack and blame, turning the conversation into a negative place. Instead of listening to and respecting each-other, this young couple’s insecurities make them demanding in a very personal arena (who you stay friends with). Their intention was basically to create reassurance, but since intention was not clear from the beginning, the conversation grew into fear/insecurity and finally hostility .
How do you communicate? Do you also get into trivial fights over nothing? We have all been there!