Every relationship starts with communication in some form or the other. It may be verbal, written or at times just a silent gesture or an expression conveys where words may be found wanting. The super hit hindi song of yesteryears ‘Ankhon hi ankhon mein ishaara ho gaya’ conveys it all (The expressive eyes convey without a word being spoken).
As the relationship develops the strength of the foundation is majorly drawn from the communication made between the two individuals. My experience says that more than the verbal communication, it is the understanding of the unsaid words which many a times carries the day and the relationship further. Believe you me, it is much easier said than done.
Reading the eyes and the mind….
Reading the eyes, reading the mind was never my cup of tea, how I survived and thrived God only knows. It is only after falling in love I realised that ‘Bhaad mein jao’ (Go to hell) could also have ‘Mohabbat’ (Love) draped inside it. The society world over being such since ages, the women was supposed to be beautiful but not so bold in public. Their ability of conveying through means other than words is far more developed than those of men.
But men being men, have over the years failed to develop the ability of correctly interpreting the meaning hidden behind those beautiful gestures. No men, without exception, has ever clearly understood what the beautiful eyes communicate. Those who tried too hard invariably could never find their way out from those eyes.
Confront you must…..
I have always believed in that ‘How’ matters more than “what’ in the art of communication. Making polite conversation especially when you have half a mind of confronting does not come easy to very many. But then that’s the way it is supposed to be between a couple. Confrontations have their place in relationships but managing them is not everyone’s cup of tea. Confront you must, but with full facts whenever you have to. Never base your arguments on assumptions. You will in all probability end up spoiling an otherwise healthy relationship. Theatrics and lung power on their own have rarely won meaningful arguments for anyone.
Being right or wrong….
We all grow up within our limited belief systems and over a period of time develop our own fixated opinion of right and wrong. Unfortunately, this limited belief system becomes the central part of most of the communication we make specially during discussions/ debates. Communication is made to gather information, to understand better and then accept what is wrong and right. The intent should not be just to prove the other person wrong, especially between spouses. Blessed are the men who have understood the importance of “Agree culture’ at home. They live longer and remain happier. I just love that song ‘Jo tum ko ho pasand wohi baat karenge’ (Will only do whatever you like).
Some polite suggestions….
After being married for 23 years I have learnt a few lessons (Lifesaving? Well! Maybe.) These are mostly for the men as I feel that their ability of making and understanding communication is a bit inferior to that of the women.
Be careful of which word you use when. It does not matter whether you have just started dating or have been married for 20 years. The lady by your side is capable of drawing her own conclusions from whatever you have said even casually and confront you with it at her own chosen time. You do not have to worry too much about it if you are apt at storytelling. (A warning – History has shown that even best of actor have failed in front of a discerning wife).
Do not ever criticise a close relation of your spouse in front or even behind her. Avoid being a party to it even if he/ she is indulging in criticism of own relation. Any negative word you utter even by mistake may create problems for you later in life.
She may not mind you praising beauty of other ladies in front of her but do not let the praise be seen in your eyes. The ladies are very efficient readers of the mind through the eyes.
Most ladies (even many men) are used to referring the child as ‘My child’ when he/she does something good and as ‘Your child’ when he/ she fails their expectations. Do not get too much worried about it. It is their way of reminding you about your responsibilities (at least they think so).
Learn to differentiate between ‘hmmm’ and ‘hmmmmmmmmmm’. The longer version is to give you time to make amendments, to get your act together.
This one is for the ladies. Please do not be in a hurry to offload your emotions, especially anger, on your husband. The team leader or the management expert may be busy addressing his team and there rings the mobile and as soon he presses the call accept button the lady from the other side blasts him off for something, he may not be even aware has happened on this earth. Put yourself in his shoes and you will understand what he must have gone through at that point of time. Have patience, only thing that might change if you wait till evening is your mood (for better). Hurry has to be shown only for medical reasons rest all can be managed.
Once at home please leave your office problems outside the door, give time to the family. Spend time with each member, if nothing else just exchange pleasantries but talk to all of them. This helps in maintaining feel good factor at home.
Lastly, learn to read her silence, it conveys a lot.
Communication can help you find answers to any problems. Mistakes happen but they should not become the cause for breakdown in communication. But yes, while mistakes can be pardoned, they should never be overlooked, however the place for habitual offenders is only in jail, lock them out of your life if they refuse to improve.
It is communication which starts a relationship and then helps in sustaining it. Pay attention to the content and the style of your communication. Keep the intent to prove yourself right out of the communication, just converse to understand and feel good.
“From ‘Jaroorrat hai jaroorat hai jaroorat hai’ to ‘Na hum tumhein jaanein na tum humein jano magar lagta hai kuch aise’ to ‘Janam Janam ka saath hai humaara tumhaara’ to ‘jab koi baat bigad jaaye’ to ‘kabhi neem neem kabhi shahad shahad’ to finally ‘Jiyein to jiyein kaise bin aapke’ married life is all about communication”(These are all famous Bollywood songs my Indian friends will understand and relate to)(From ‘I need a life partner’ to ‘Though we both do not know each other but I think I have found the one I was looking for’ to ‘Our love is eternal’ to ‘We will be there for each other through thick and thin’ to ‘ The ups and down of life’ to finally ‘Life is so difficult without you’ married life is all about communication.)