Over the years I’ve heard many variations of this story. Someone not feeling valued at their job, but never asking for a raise or promotion. The working parent who also has responsibility for kids, meals and home and doesn’t ask for help. The person who goes out with a friend who is constantly on their phone, sits there seething but saying nothing. Not getting a raise, help with kids or a friends attention isn’t always about a lack of communication. But it is always where you start. If a relationship that you want to maintain is frustrating you or making you sad or angry you have to figure out why you feel that way and what you want. Then talk with them about it. Nothing will change without communication.
Happiness & Communication
This is part of a series on different aspects of Happiness.
Many people come to me because they aren’t happy with an aspect of their life and
don’t know how to fix it. Lack of communication may be one reason for unhappiness.
Mia is very much in love with her husband Jason. They met in high school but didn’t start dating until their late twenty’s. Both had previous serious relationships, so they felt that they had realistic expectations of each other. But Mia’s growing unhappiness was casting a shadow over their relationship.
Mia: He’s wonderful, kind, thoughtful and funny. Why isn’t that enough?
Victoria: You’ve told me what he is. What isn’t he?
Mia: He’s everything, she said as she gently started to cry.
Victoria: When does your sadness feel the strongest?
Mia: After dinner, when we relax and watch TV.
Victoria: Imagine that you’re on your couch watching TV. What do you want?
Mia: I want to hold hands or cuddle, just touch without it being about sex.
Victoria: Have you told him what you want?
Mia: No, he should just know.
Victoria: How would he know what you want if you don’t tell him?
Mia: He should just know! We’ve been together over 20 years, how could he not know?
This is a condensed account of a 30 minute conversation. They answer may seem obvious to you, but she didn’t get it. No matter how I approached it Mia couldn’t see her part in any of it. Instead of accepting that it was her responsibility to communicate her needs, she blamed Jason for not knowing her.
Dead people say: People talk to each other! No one can read your mind!