03 September 2009

Unneeded Advice

Assuming things is bad. Lack of communication can kill any relationship, whether it be family, love, or friendship. As I've gotten older, I've discovered just how important communication is, even more so than love. Love is a key ingredient in intimate and family relationships, true, but it's not number one in priority. I suppose that's why I take it upon myself to tell each of you, (all three of you that might actually READ my blog,) what I've learned and hope to pass on as entertainment or advice, it doesn't really matter.

Intimate Relationships:

1. TRUST - You must tell the truth. You must be sensitive when telling it. Do not lie to your sweetheart, but don't admit that the dress she's asking about makes her look like a whale. Or do. What kind of relationship do you have?

2. COMMUNICATION - You must talk about everything. You must see your lover as your friend, otherwise when the sex gets boring, you're done and off and looking for the next big thing. "Nothing" should never be the thing that's wrong with you when you've been brooding all day in an obviously pissy mood.
Refer to #1 for what you should talk about.

3. ENDEARMENTS - Show the one you love, that you love them. Tell them. Make them laugh. Make them feel important to you. Include them in decisions, even ones as small as "Hey sweetie, I'm thinking of inviting (Random Friend Name) over. Would that be alright or did you need a quiet evening?"
Christmas and birthdays are not the only days of the year you can surprise them or be kind.
Mythbuster: Gifts don't have to be expensive. Or cost anything at all.

4. COMMITMENT - Sure, you'd love to stay up til four, playing the latest version of random movie or video game. But you're an adult now. (Yes, you ARE!) Bedtime is important. Sleep is important. Going to work to pay your bills is important.
To me, commitment means a lot of things. First of all, of course it indicates loyalty to your sweetheart in all aspects. It doesn't have to be you two against the world, mind you. It can be a "I like you most of all" attitude.
But commitment also means carrying your end of the load. Staying employed. Taking out the trash. Putting away dishes. Both of you. Employ the fact that one of you might really, REALLY hate doing a chore. The other may not mind so much. Refer back to #1 and #2 for clarification. Selflessness is a virtue. A rare one that is wonderful to find, especially in both people involved in a relationship.

Family Relationships:

First of all, of course the priorities are different. It doesn't make them less important. There is more of an assumed attitude with family members and a reserved expectancy of accommodation that may overstep personal boundaries and limits. English translate: Just because she's your mom doesn't make it okay to be insensitive and assumptive. Siblings often have a more difficult time, especially with parents who fail to realize that their little girl/boy has grown up and now needs to be viewed/treated differently. As a mother myself, I know this is a difficult transition, but a necessary one.

There comes a time when you stop being siblings/mother/father/daughter/son, and simply become two adults that are related to one another. Without further ado:

1. COMUNICATION - This is assuming that you are able to trust your family in the first place. You should be able to. Not so many reasons for family to lose credibility with one-another. Regaining that back often takes years and many sessions of therapy.

The definition of communication as a family changes quite often and is constantly evolving throughout life.
As children, we cry and run to our mothers/fathers when we are hurt or scared. That may continue throughout puberty, and possibly early adulthood, but once said children grow older, they will find an outside person to channel that communication to. This does not mean that the love/trust is no longer there. It means that your child/parent is growing into a different sort of relationship with you, relatively.

LISTEN to family. Since the revelations become far and fewer between as the child/parent matures, you should be willing to let them update you on their lives at their own pace. Stop assuming that you are so important to them, that they will only want to hear your personal situation. The more you listen, the more they will tell you. This helps maintain a healthy balance, and helps regain that full-open line of communication you might have enjoyed earlier in life with them.

2. ENDEARMENTS - Yes, tell your mother that you love her. Tell your daughter that you care. At the same time, SHOW it. Don't negate your words with conflicting actions. It's not necessary to continuously profess your love verbally. As stated earlier above, Christmas and birthdays aren't the only days of the year that you can give or receive gifts. Stay in tune with what is happening in your family's life. A flower for your mom can make her day. A plane model for your military dad could show him you've paid attention to what he likes, as a result, making him or her feel important to you.

People like/need to matter to someone. It's a human trait.

Considering I don't have a Phd in psychology, and had to use spellcheck for the bigger words, (including psychology,) It's not necessary to take my words here for granted. Lately, my sweetheart and I have been discussing the definitions and boundaries of relationships, and since I don't blog often, I made a decision to share what we've learned together. It's not meant to hurt anyone or point fingers, no. It's just here to help us all think on how we regard people in our everyday lives.


Anonymous said...

Bloody shame if only three people read this... Ought to be mandatory reading for anyone in a relationship of any kind (aka - everyone!). It's bloody good advice. I appreciate the opportunity to read it. Thank you. :)

Heather said...

Awesome post. Thank you for sharing the fruits of your exploration! (and if someone had told someone I used to know some of that, I might have stayed married longer)

Danielle said...

Interesting post... I think there are times that communicating and being honest is hard, but in the long term it's a very good thing. Even in the short term, really...

With family, I've come to define what family is as different from just blood. I think family are the people that you are willing to work with to build a loving relationship.

My blood relatives are not exactly all the nicest of people, and some just aren't willing to work on things... I think with most of them, I'm not willing to work on it anymore either. My mum and I work on our relationship, and that's about it in terms of my close relations. She feels like family.

Just random thoughts for 3.30am! ;)


Kathy said...

You are so right about communication. Nothing kills a relationship faster than pretending real issues don't exist. Thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

Great post. You talked about laughter under "Endearments" in Intimate Relationships, and I would just underline that. It's so important to be able to laugh and not take things too seriously. It's easy to get caught up in negative thinking, to put too much weight on trivial things, and, after all, what does it really matter if your husband never changes the toilet paper? He fulfills so many other needs, both menial and psychological.

So, where does friendship fit in? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Okay, I make it four people that read this :)

Thanks for sharing. It seems that the things you need in life show up when you need them. The case with this one.

Communication. You have it all there my dear. Thanks so much for sharing. I have a lot to think about....and talk about. :)

Appreciate your blog, always good reading.


Unknown said...

Thanks everyone for leaving your thoughts/reactions on this. M - Friendship? Good call. I'll think on that and write a post in the near future. Thanks for the suggestion.

Werecat said...

Why are you not writing a relationship manual? Or an advice column at least? Okay, scratch that one, you would eventually get to the point of telling them to go bite themselves.

Unknown said...

Edit on the blog...it was written a year or so back, and that's why the comment on 3 or less people that "READ" my blog, I know I have a bit more than that nowadays. =P Sorry if anyone found it offensive. Thanks again for your time.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great research and post. (Can you add forgiveness to the list? It's been an important ingredient to me...and maybe that's because I'm half a century old now.) :)

Unknown said...

Perhaps I could add forgiveness. I think it might fall between Tell the Truth, and Communication. I'm not too forgiving, I just try to do what is right the first time. Granted I'm not perfect, but by telling my husband everything, it works out better that way.