When most of us think of people who are great communicators, we often miss one of the most important traits these people carry: the knowledge of when to be silent in relationships and just how powerful of a tool this really is.
Most men are at a disadvantage here, as we have been raised to fix, fix and then fix again anything in sight that seems to be broken. And that includes relationships. But this trait is not alone one that gets men into hot water, as many women over the years have developed the same issue: when someone comes to us with a challenge, we want to give advice and fix it right away.
In my courses that I teach at universities and colleges, this tool is an important part of the materials that we explore in regards to life mastery: the ability to sit with someone else's pain, or challenge, without having to fix it.
At our weekly men's group on success and faith, we discussed this just last night, as I shared the power behind allowing a lover, child or friend to express to us a worry, insecurity or fear without having to say a word in return. Just our presence with them is enough to help the healing process begin.
When someone comes to us in pain, or in a quandary about life, and we immediately share with them the three things they could do to "fix" their problem, we have basically shut them down emotionally. We have said, "I really am not strong enough to hear your pain, so just do this thing I'm telling you, so we can move on. " Where most of the time they are just looking for a safe place to let their true emotions out, by giving advice we are throwing their fears right back in their face.
My partner came to me once with a heavy pain surrounding her beloved horse, an animal that is as close to human with his sensitive and beautiful feelings as any horse could get. Years ago my response would have been , "But what about this, or trying that, have you asked the vet if this is a possibility too?". My intentions might have been good, but the end result would have been horrific, as she would not have had a chance to truly release at the deepest level her pain, her tears, which was a deep sign of love that she had with her companion Simon.
Instead, I opted for the path that I now teach others, to sit with this persons pain, in my case just to hold her, and stroke her hair as she goes to the beautiful depth of emotional release. As she goes deeper and deeper, her healing is more and more profound.
You and I are not here on earth to "fix" anyone, but rather to sit with their pain. During this time together, I had tears too as I felt her love for her horse, and her fears as well. It's not the easiest path, but 45 minutes later, after saying very little, I could feel her tears wane, her heart open, as she joyfully recalled amazing memories from her past with this beautiful animal.
If we want to be phenomenal communicators, we all must move to this type of interaction, where we move away from giving advice, and move into unconditional love. I advise my clients, students as well as myself daily, to never give advice unless someone directly asks you for it.
Slow down and allow the people in your life, lovers, children, family, friends, coworkers, to come to you as a safe haven, a warm home against life's storms, where they can share their emotions without the fear of being told , once again, what they should do with their pain. Silence is a powerful tool in all exceptional relationships.
Love, peace, David www.davidessel.com