Communication Styles for Successful Dating
Louise, a Baby Boomer, has a story to tell you from her personal life.
She was trying to build a stronger relationship with a very important person, the daughter of her partner, 20-year-old daughter.
She arranged a special evening
“Let’s have a great evening out, just the two girls together. At the Blue Note Jazz Club in Milan.: She said.
That night, the Manhattan Transfer, which is her favorite jazz group, were playing. So, they meet, the atmosphere is fantastic. They are getting on very well and were happy.
Being a baby boomer, loving the music, Louise thought, “Well, is she liking it as much as I am? “So at that moment, she just turned to look at her young companion to check.
And what did I see? I saw this. She was on her iPhone. Now, how to react?
Here are the Communication Choices that Lousie thought of in her words.
“I had some choices. First choice. Excuse me. What is she doing?
She’s on her iPhone.
I mean, I spent all this time and money thinking of a fantastic evening, I bring her here, and what?
After two minutes I take my eyes off her, and she’s on her phone? I mean, what is wrong with this generation?
I mean, they got the attention span of a fruit fly, for God’s sake.
Choice number two.
This was a mistake.
Why did I bring her here?
I mean, she’s bored; she’s not interested; she doesn’t like the music.
What was I thinking? I mean: Why should she like the music? This is stuff for baby boomers. She probably thinks she’s spending the evening with a dinosaur. Oh, God!
Choice number three. Hold your horses. Count to ten.
Take a deep breath. Don’t jump to conclusions.
You don’t know what she is doing on her iPhone. So just relax. Take it easy. Have another drink.
Choice number four.
Now, you know, what’s really important for me is that this evening together is special, that she feels that after this evening, she can really open up to me; she can feel safe with me, and that -I’m always an open door for her, that’s what’s really important for me. I just hope it’s going to happen -I just hope.
Choice number five.
What’s important to her?
What’s going on in her world right now? What’s important to her?
I really would love to connect with her. What do I need to do that?
You know, I was having real problems trying to answer that question. And at that moment, she turned to me, and she said,
“Louise, did you know that this is the only Blue Note in the whole of Europe? And there’s one in New York, and then there’s two in Japan, but this is the only one here in Milan. That’s incredible; the Italians have got it.
And she said, “Oh, and I’ve looked up the Manhattan Transfer. Do you know that they’ve been playing and singing together for 40 years?
And she said, Also, look. “She handed me her iPhone; she’d sent a message out on Facebook; it said, “In the Blue Note in Milan, with the Manhattan Transfer and Louise, the best!
“Now, that was a close shave. I mean, I could’ve spoiled that.
Because I could have sent her a disapproving look from this chair. And she could’ve started telling herself about me, things about me, like, Louise, she’s controlling.
It’s not easy to be around her. And that was not my intention at all.
And in fact, she was completely engaged. She was there, multitasking in her digital way, but she was enhancing our reality.
So, in milli seconds, I could have destroyed that beautiful moment that we were creating together.”
The Choices We Make in Communication- Some Times Getting IT ALL WRONG
This is what we are doing all the time; we are making choices about the behaviors that we bring into the world. And the choices that we make have a direct impact on the conversations that we have, the relationships that we form, and the quality of our lives in general.
So, what can we do at a practical level to help us be more conscious about this? They don’t train us this in school. It’s not on the school curriculum – how to behave well.
So, what can we do?
Look at the choices more closely and explain them.
Communication Choice 1
We love to blame, to complain, to punish, to gossip; but our supreme game in this Choice 1 is to judge.
And if you don’t believe me, I invite you to spend one hour with people and see if you can do it without one single judgment going through your mind.
I mean, watch ourselves. Somebody walks in the door; we go: bzzzzzzzzz, I like, don’t like, not interested. And we don’t know anything about them at all.
Communication Choice 2
We tend to see what is wrong with other people rather than what is right
Louise used to do this all time until her brother gave some feedback.
“My mother likes to exaggerate. So she would say something like, “Oh yes, there were 30 people at the family gathering. “And my job was to correct her. I’m saying, “No, Mom, they weren’t 30, they were 13. “So, I was the policewoman of the situation.
My brother touched me on the arm, and he said, “It doesn’t matter,” to which I reacted, “What do you mean it doesn’t matter?
Of course, it matters. She’s wrong. And she needs to be corrected for her good. “He touched me on the arm again, and he said, “Do you want to be in a relationship with your mother, or do you want to be right?
Big lesson. From then on, I always looked upon my mother’s exaggeration as a form of abundance.”
So, here with this Choice 2, what we tend to do is see what is wrong with other people rather than what is right.
Mother Teresa reminds us, “The more we judge people, the less time we have to love them.”
Communication Choice 3
We are feeling vulnerable against an evil world. And what we do is mercilessly judge ourselves. “I’m not intelligent enough. I cannot do this. Nobody believes in me. “And we have certain fears, we have fears of being rejected, fears of disappointing, fears of failing. And we also play the victim.
This Choice 3 we allow ourselves to feel, “Nobody cares for me, nobody loves me. ” We all suffer from self-doubt. But it’s really, what do we do with self-doubt?
Do we give up and give in?
Or do we say no?
I want to find the resources and grow.
Krishnamurti says something wonderful, he says, “The highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe ourselves without judging.
Communication Choice 4
We’re mindful; we’re very aware; we are observant; we stop; we pause. We take a deep breath, and we’re conscious. This is the WAIT Choice 4.
W-A-I-T. What am I thinking? What am I telling myself?
So here we become very curious. If somebody is angry, instead of saying, “For God sake: grow up, will you?”
We think, “I wonder why that person is angry?” And, we feel interested. So this chair here is . . . When I think of Nietzsche, this is such an important quote for this Choice. He says, “You have your way; I have my way. As for the right way and the only way, it does not exist.
Communication Choice 5
In this Choice 5, we become a detective of ourselves, like Sherlock Holmes of ourselves. We take a magnifying glass, and we look at our behaviors.
It’s a beautiful Choice 5 because we become self-aware.
We know who we are.
We know what we want.
We know where we’re going.
We’re not afraid to speak our truth.
But we also create our boundaries. We look after ourselves in this chair. But we’re very very powerful.
We don’t give our power away.
We come into our full power. We become assertive, but not aggressive. Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” “We can be here for our whole lives.
Communication Choice 6
A beautiful Choice 6, very difficult. You need a big heart, empathy, compassion, and understanding.
In this Choice 6, we put our egos on the back burner, and we listen to people.
We hold people in our presence, and we care for them. Stepping into somebody else’s shoes and understanding them is a great act of generosity.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”
This Choice it’s an invitation to look at other perspectives, to embrace other realities, to embrace diversity, and to become tolerant.
The intention of this Choice 6 is to stay connected whatever happens.
What’s Next For the Communication Choice You Make Every Day?
Our challenge every day is to understand how to find the balance between the Communication Choices we make.
Viktor Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing. The last of human freedoms -to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. “This is so powerful.”
So when you next want to argue with your partner because they press your button to think of these Communication Choices, commit to better relationships, one behavior at a time.
Thanks to Louise Evans, this article has been adapted from her TEDx talk.