Compassionate Communication

Hello beautiful friends!!

It’s Thursday…have you had a chance to ponder on what you are deeply thankful for this week?  Today, I’m thankful for the power of communication, and specifically compassionate communication, in building relationships of trust.

Last week I made the choice to have a difficult conversation with an important person in my life.  I realized if our relationship was ever to heal and build, some issues needed to be addressed.  Otherwise we would continue to do the avoidance dance, skirting issues and never achieve the genuine connection I hope to experience with all the important people in my life.  To show up in alignment with my best self, I needed to own my truth by explaining my thoughts, feelings and actions related to this individual.  I fasted about this relationship prior to our conversation and have been praying for months about how to proceed.

Reflecting upon our conversation gave me some powerful insights which I am grateful for about difficult conversations in relationships and how to have compassionate communication:

  • There is opposition in all things and every relationship will be 50/50.  When issues arise, (which they will!!) nothing has gone wrong.  The choice we have in each of our relationships is  to address the problems that come up and continue growing together, or avoid/ignore the problems and continue drifting apart.
  • Byron Katie said “Defense is the first act of war”.  It is so true.  Watch out for defensiveness.  When you recognize you or the other person is getting defensive, stop!  Take a step back.  If the goal of the conversation is to improve the relationship, then understanding with compassion must take place, even if you don’t see eye to eye on some things.  Defensiveness is a warning sign that the conversation is headed in the wrong direction. It helps to remember, “Get curious, not furious.” If we can live by this catchy saying, we will stay out of a defensive posture, and land in compassion every time.
  • Avoiding hard conversations due to fear of contention is toxic to relationships. Refusing to take part in communicating when someone takes a risk to share and is vulnerable,  poisons trust.  These actions imply one doesn’t care enough about the relationship to work on it.  It assumes the other person is incapable of listening, and insinuates that you aren’t interested in understanding why they feel the way they do or in hearing what they have to say.  Fear, avoidance, resistance, and unyielding stiffness in your stance shuts down compassionate communication and destroys relationships when problems arise.

I’ve often heard it said that we can only take 2 things with us when we leave this world, our knowledge and our relationships.  If there is a relationship in your life you need to work on, start  the healing process today by choosing to compassionately communicate.  I am so thankful for the healing and building up of relationships that comes from compassionate communication.  

Deep down, at our core, everyone just wants to be loved, heard, seen and accepted as enough, just the way they are… despite imperfections.  It’s my hope that compassion and understanding are the driving force behind all your conversations, especially the difficult ones.  Relationships are worth the effort!!

I’m thankful for the relationships I have with each of you.  If you are struggling, reach out to me.  I’d love to help.

Sending light and love, 

Candice Noss