WARNING: this post may be too silly, although it contains genuine thoughts and feelings too. Read on at your own risk. Or something.
The theme set this week is “Getting the message across.”
Ah, communication. One of the most important skills in the known universe, yet also one that many of us wish we were better at. I used to be really good at communicating in my professional life (still am), but complete batshit rubbish at it in my private life. There were many reasons for this, which I have written about before on this blog.
So here, in no particular order, are my personal guidelines for getting your message across AKA communicating, in a personal relationship.
- DO NOT use the awful (IMO) phrase: “We need to talk.” For many people, even those who know you would never intentionally hurt them, this is a trigger phrase. It is clichéd (
how the frag do you get an accented e within WP?) of course, but it can scare people.
- Think about what you want to say before the actual conversation. If you’re going to talk about something difficult e.g. telling your partner(s) that you’d really like to get into a bath of cold custard, wearing a wet suit, while they batter you with a pair of slimey kippers, then you are likely to stumble over your words. Rehearse first, it will help. Actually, be prepared for your partner, if not English, to need to Google they hell out of kippers to find out whatinthefrag they are. And no, that is not one of my kinks – I prefer cold baked beans (joke).
- Don’t blurt out the news/request/explanation for the disappearance of all the custard in the local shops, when they are busy. You need to pick a quiet time, away from distractions. It’ll help you both relax.
- When you’ve given them the basics of what this chat is about, give them time to digest it and respond. You may have said something that has surprised/shocked/scared/excited them. They’re probably gonna need some time to think about it. They may also worry that you’re expecting them to clean out the bath afterwards.
- Accept that they may need more time to think about it. For example, I pretty much always need to think about important stuff overnight before responding. I think what I am pleased to call my mind needs to process and file stuff before coming up with a genuine response. Silverdrop took a couple of years to get used to this. She initially mistook my silence at important announcements (just for a minute or so before I could say “I need to think about this.”) as anger, or something else negative.
How do you get an important message across?