This past week my mother was staying with us. I had just gotten home from dropping off the older kiddos so I was down to one little person in the house. Mom & I were hanging out in the kitchen, fixing breakfast and talking when Mom suddenly stopped.
“It’s quiet. Should we be concerned?”
“Yup. Quiet is always a bad sign in this house.”
Well there that is. Quiet never spells anything good in our home. It’s an indicator that something not so good is about to hit the fan.
Silence is the number one relationship killer. I guess I should say relationships because all good ones require communication, not just the one with your spouse.
You want to have a successful marriage? Never stop talking. I’m sure all my male readers just clicked “unfollow.” Sorry fellas, but if you’re wife goes clam on you and suddenly your little chatter box barely breaths a word to you…you in trouble. BIG trouble. You see, a woman talks because she believes that you care enough to hear every little thing that she feels, thinks & cares about. If she stops the communication, chances are it’s because she thinks you’ve checked out and could care less about what she has to say anyway so what’s the point in wasting her breath?
If you desire close friendships, be open with people. Talk about your struggles, your dreams your success and in doing so, it allows others to feel comfortable to do the same. If there is one thing I’ve learned through blogging, it’s that people respond to realness. If you drop the act and get down in the dirt where life is lived, people will be drawn to that and connect with you on a more personal level.
How bout the parent/child relationship? So many parents think communication with their kids is a one way street….wrong. Not that I have all the answers, but come on now. Yes, Mom & Dad are in charge of their brood but does that mean you can’t give explanations behind your rules and expectations? While children may be under our authority, I believe they should have some freedom to speak their minds. With 5 kids living in this house, they may have come from my husband and I but they couldn’t be more unlike us in some areas. It’s unbelievable! I catch myself looking at them and thinking, “Dear God, this can’t be my kid. They are nothing like me!” That is why I feel it’s important to communicate with them; you talk they answer and back and forth you go until you have a better understanding of one another. Couldn’t hurt. Just sayin’.
It is my opinion that there is one thing that brings a screeching halt to all communication, regardless to which type of relationship you are dealing with.
You ready for this?
Don’t make me spell it out, but we’ve all heard what assume really means when you put a couple of perfectly placed spaces. I’ll give you a hint, it has something to do with a barn animal who appears in the Bible a time or two.
So many times, I have been guilty of being tight lipped because I assumed I knew what the other person was going to say in response. I’d press it down, fight it out within myself and leave the other party completely out of the conversation. Acting like this is horribly unfair. You and I aren’t giving the other person a chance to prove us wrong. (It is possible that we are wrong, by the way.)
I’m going to give you a real simple statement to say to yourself the next time you find yourself assuming you know what someone else is going to say or do: “I don’t know nothing.” (Grammar teachers everywhere are cringing.)
Because truth be told, if you never give the other person the opportunity to engage in open conversation with you, then you really don’t know a thing about them. Not one thing. I may elaborate on the this some other time, but for now, TALK to the people in your life! Disregard all preconceived ideas about who you think they are and how you think they will react, open your mouth & your ears and communicate!
Here is a two step plan to ensure that your conversations will be free from judgment. You have to complete step one in order to make step two happen:
1. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
(Colossians 3:16 NKJV)
2. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
(Colossians 4:6 NIV)