Last night we were hanging out and sharing about our week when we discovered that we had a brief incident of misunderstanding, occasioned by assumptions and overall lack of communication. It wasn’t a big thing. It might have gone unnoticed, but for the fact that we tend to communicate about most of our inner experiences together.
We were helping to empty the house of a friend who is moving. Maude had gone earlier to help clear out things and take whatever might be interesting. She had taken a few things and spotted some she wanted Phil’s input on.
There were a bunch of wigs in an array of colors and styles. Maude thought they might be fun to play with and pointed them out to Phil. He didn’t seem to react with enthusiasm and she assumed he wasn’t interested, and they moved on to the books. The next day he suggested going back for more books and the wigs. Maude was puzzled and in talking about it, found out he thought she wasn’t interested, and she thought he wasn’t interested, and neither actually spoke what they wanted to the other.
Even in the best of relationships, assumptions can create problems #quote #relationships Click To TweetThis is a story about lack of clear communication, lack of honesty, lack of clarity. We both made assumptions about what the other person would like and acted accordingly. Bad! That’s codependency in action. There was no conflict involved and we sorted it out, but still, it was a lesson in how even the slightest withholding can go astray.
One way confusion can arise is when you don’t yet have a sense of what you want because you haven’t connected with that feeling yet. At that point, it’s easy to hand the choice over to another person.
Our misunderstanding was a small incident but it got us thinking. Even in the best of relationships, where the partners talk and share, these things can happen. They may seem to be about unimportant things, but this pattern can easily grow to include bigger issues. The habit of not stating clearly and honestly how you feel to your partner can develop into a pattern. If these incidents accumulate, they may cause a build-up that drives a wedge between you.
These are moments when you are not present with your partner. You are in your own mind, with your own story of how they feel and what they think. You are relating to something you have created yourself. It is important in your relationship that you do not make assumptions, no matter how well you know and understand each other.
The route to knowing what you want is to be present and listen to your body. When you know what you want, the next step is to communicate it clearly. In a relationship, that takes trust that your partner will accept your needs and desires simply as part of you.
Hesitancy about sharing honestly what you feel or think could be the breeding ground for estrangement. It behooves you to be aware of these moments and to see if they are unimportant to your overall connection, or whether they reflect some form of withholding, some insecurity with being accepted by your partner.
You don’t want to be a running faucet spewing forth everything that enters your mind, but if there is something that could cause misunderstanding, it’s best to honestly share it. This kind of sharing usually engenders closeness and will further your connection to each other. Openly offering yourself feels good on both sides – to give that kind of intimacy and to receive it.
Surely you’ve had the experience of having been fully open with your partner. Perhaps it was telling all during an argument, or a drunken night, or the intimacy arising from a quiet day together. That is the state to aim for, day in, day out, 24/7. We’re still working on it.