In celebration of world theatre day 2021 (27-3-21) what would life be like if it really was as dramatic as a theatre show?
Just imagine having music to accompany you into a situation. Even two drums and a symbol when you're trying to make a joke.
How wonderful would that be?!
No seriously… no more miscommunication. No more people wondering if you're being sarcastic… or just have a dry sense of humor. There would be a musical jungle to let you know how the other person is feeling, and how you are feeling. AWESOME!
As a person, your language structure is set by the time you are 7 years old. It takes a lot of work to change the process where you form sentences and the word that you use. So why do we al feel so much pressure to always pick the right words for the other person.
Well the fact is you can't.
You have no reference point on the other persons experiences. It’s almost impossible to know what experiences the other person has and which words will trigger a negative reaction.
How cute are puppies?! They are like babies right!! You wouldn't talk about how cute puppies are with someone who was mauled by a dog as a child…. And how would you possibly know that?! People so rarely talk about childhood trauma unless
So how the hell are you supposed to communicate with someone in a way that won't spark a negative reaction or worse, start a disagreement?
Have you heard of Non Violent Communication…? It’s a structured way of expressing how you are feeling with other people and then asking a question. When it comes to your own feelings, no one else can comment. They are you own and unique to YOU.
Your feelings are memories of your previous experiences that trigger an emotion. Some may be happy, sad, angry, frustrated, …
Non Violent Communication was created by Marshal Rosenberg, who in my humble opinion… is a god amongst men.
I read the introduction of his book and in one call, was able to resolve a long standing family conflict with my mother that had been ongoing for some 20 years. I had waited my whole life to have a loving conversation with my Mum that hold no provocation. The articulation of my feeling turned everything around and was truly a magical experience that I will be thankful for. Not least because this was how we started to mend our relationship, which later allowed us to part as friends.
Marshall describes communication between two parties as in our out of agreement, aka disagreement. Miscommunication is the cause of so much conflict aka disagreement. Just think about the last time your partner did the shopping and forgot something.
"You forgot the ___!"
With there being and expectation somehow that the other person will know what is being asked of them. All that is happening here is building frustration on both sides. The situation can easily escalate and before you know it, you’re fighting.
Let’s try something different.
"I notice that you forgot the ___. Will you be going back out to get it, or shall I go out later?"
The inclusion of a call to action gives the other person something to respond to, removing the guesswork.
In my mothers case, it was holding self respect. My mother was born into a time where children doted on their parents and remained local. I live 400 miles away from my folks and maintained a telephone relationship in between physical visits. Mum liked to control me, my thoughts, my clothes… pretty much everything. Her opinion used to be so valued by me that in my youth I was a mini-version of her. Becoming a women allowed me to have my own opinions and she didn't like it.
We used to fight about everything. The more I held my ground, the worse it would get. I took to escaping the mental abuse and working more hours and attending study groups with friends just to get out of the house and away from her. Every time we were together, I was just counting the minutes before we would be at each others throat.
"Mum, I love you very much and when we fight like this, I feel very sad and it affects me greatly. I wish to have a conversation with you in a calm and considered manner and at the moment, I feel that this is impossible." My life changed.
Queue playful music.