Listening to another requires not just our ears to be open, but our hearts to be open.
So much tension in relationships comes from communication which causes conflict rather than closeness.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
I used to be shocking in my communication. So much fighting, nagging, winging, projecting and defensiveness.
Thaaaaankfully I’ve had amazing mentors and teachings in my life through Tantra that have completely changed how I communicate with others.
Because wow, communication can open such deep connection to another person. So much truth, empowerment, understanding and respect.
Not just in the pleasant conversations, but also in the challenging, more gritty conversations.
But, often communication is where we get stuck. Perhaps we launch ammunition or forget how to say what’s really going on.
So, how to communicate in a way that brings closeness, not distance? Here are key communication principles that can make the world of difference!
WHEN YOU’RE LISTENING:
When someone is sharing, give them your absolute presence.
Watch the part of the mind that can start to build your argument or response back to them, and keep bringing your attention back to being present with this person and listening with an openness and curiosity as to what they are saying.
You can visualise having ears all over your body from which you are receiving them. This enables you to really hear their perspective without letting your own mind and defensiveness get in the way.
If any contraction, resistance or reaction comes up in your body as you’re listening, gently breathe into your heart space and let out a little sigh on the exhale.
Stay connected to your body and breath as you are listening to another.
Reflect, don’t deflect
. This is the ability to receive someone’s feedback and to actually check it out and see whether there are some elements of truth in it (there almost always is), rather than going automatically into deflecting.
Deflecting is where you point out how it’s the other person’s fault, make an excuse, avoid talking about the topic by shifting the conversation elsewhere, deny what they are saying etc.
Reflecting, however, is where you hear what they say and turn your attention inward to check out if there’s any truth in what they’re saying, and then share from this space of self-awareness and ownership.
If you want to evolve as a spiritual being, then practicing this step will catapult your evolution.
WHEN YOU’RE SPEAKING:
Before speaking, take a breath or two into your heart space and connect with yourself.
This is a practice of getting out of the head and what you THINK needs to be said, and into the heart space to FEEL what is alive for you.
This will take your communication from concepts of the mind into the feeling realm, so that communication can come from your deepest truth and vulnerability.
Speak from your vulnerability, not defensiveness.
If you’re feeling defensive, this can be a protective mechanism. Pause and speak from the vulnerability that sits beneath the defensiveness. Vulnerability will be better received by another than defensiveness and actually gets to the core of what is true for you.
Be aware of your body posture, your tone and your breathing
. As much as possible when communicating, you want to stay in your ease and in your body.
A great way to do this if you feel yourself escalating or contracting, then bring a hand to your belly and gently give yourself some slow touch. This will remind you to breathe deeply, will create safety within yourself, and keep you anchored in your body to speak your truth.
This doesn’t mean you don’t speak firmly or directly when needed, it just means that it comes from a place of your inner power and truth, rather than a stress response or reaction.