Communication — Exercise that Stuff

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Take these 20 minutes every day to just talk and listen. One person speaks for 10 minutes while their partner listens. Then you switch roles and other person will speak for 10 minutes while they are being listened to. It does not have to be deep and intense. You can discuss your day and how things went or work or it can even be light hearted and fun talking about how you saw a coworker get the cuff of his pants caught in the escalator and all but ripped off. Yes, I did actually see this. The poor kid, we had to staple his pants back together so he could go home and change. This short 20 minutes a day can and will keep you in touch and serve to keep you connected.

When it comes to relationships. I’m talking lifelong death till us part, in it to the end, there are three essential components. All three need to exist in equal parts. It’s when one of these three areas gets out of balance problems arise. The three areas are this, you must be romantic partners, sexual lovers and best friends. My next idea is a way that’s simple, but feels ridiculously powerful in best friend bonding. It’s a breathing exercise.

Building on the hugging exercise this is another heart-to-heart exercise. I don’t know if it’s symbolism or energy but we all know the meaning of being heart to heart. If you lover is fretting, if they are stressed, whipped up in a flurry of anxious worry this is an amazing go to exercise. Take your hand and place it on their chest right where their heart is. Now take their hand and place it on your chest right where your heart is. Now you’re connected and in control. You’re the leader. Match their breath rate. They are uptight. They will be breathing quick and shallow. Consciously start slowing down your breathing. Begin progressively inhaling deeper into your lungs as you slow down. You will see and feel them calm down. You will find the two of you in a very deep connection where you can guide them back to serenity. A word of caution, when you do this, they will be very vulnerable and open. You have to respect and understand this with nothing but pure intentions. This isn’t a time to try and get your way.

This is not something you will use every day or all the time, or maybe you will. My suggestion is saving it for the times it’s really needed. This can be a wicked powerful connector when you heart is bursting and overflowing with love and emotion. But right now, we’re talking about the chaotic spiraling downward out of control absurdity. Remember, when you do this, you are in control. You are the commander. You have to be 100% solid and secure. You’re leading your love back from the abyss to a place where they can think and see clearly again. Doing so, you have to first be in a place of serene security yourself.

Above I mentioned there is this holy trinity of love balanced in equal parts with being best friends just one of them. For a moment let’s laser focus on the ‘best friends’ idea for a moment.

Think about your best friend. Outside of your romantic relationship, guy or gal, think about them. Think now about your romantic best friend, do you treat them the same? Would you say the same things and act the same way? I’m guessing not.

Familiarity…it really does breed contemp. It sounds small, but is such a critical topic because it’s so easy to get all too familiar with your best friend/lover. You’ll see it in all sorts of ways from letting your appearance slide to taking for granted how important your love really is. Becoming comfortably familiar with your oh so important best friend presents potential problems. Are you ignoring, passing judgment, going heavy on doses of criticism or being an all-around dick to this person? Do you wrap of that up in a relationship more complex with oceanic depth?

If that’s the case. Don’t worry. Don’t go hard on yourself. Realization is the first step in change. Though the importance of how you treat your lover best friend is understated. Make sure you sincerely are treating them as your bestest best friend. Being granted ‘best friend’ status and taking advantage of it erases connection.

Seriously, if you slip up and falter, it’s coolio. You love them and they love you. Tell them you were wrong. Admit your mistake. Tell them you too are human make mistakes. They will understand.

Let’s take this a step further. I’ve had my troubles in life. I’ve been to dark places and more than once walked through the valley of the shadow of death. I came out on the other side a changed person. I realized that for the most part people are good and the advantage taking abusive scum are not the majority. I’ve learned and now see the humanity in humans. Your lover is human with all the faults, imperfections, idiosyncrasies and beautiful original uniqueness culminating in what we call humanity.

We are not original like everybody else nor are we the same. There is no word to describe the indescribable. There is no other me and there is no other you. Hopefully this understanding will help you see your significant someone as human. Human wrapped up in a beautiful ball of quirkiness and flaws tied with a beautiful bow of individuality. There is no vaccine for the human condition.

Remember this when you get annoyed. I’ve been told nothing is perfect. I disagree. I strongly believe everything is perfect and if you’re not seeing it, in tune with it, you’re not vibing on the right wave length. Start getting in tune with what’s in front of you. It’s so easy to see differences because that lets you feel a sense of righteous superiority, whereas seeing the similarities on deeper levels is more complex.

I’ll end this section by talking about triggers. Know your sweetheart’s triggers. Is it something political or punctuality? There are many. Maybe it’s their mother picking on them about their weight and they need to balance that off with your reassurance. Pushing them up telling them they are amazing the way they are might be the secret sauce. Perhaps it’s their father not happy with the vocational path they’ve chosen. Know these triggers and don’t push those buttons. And when circumstances activate those sore spots, connect to disconnect them from frustration. Be the source of comfort to alleviate and smooth out those discomforts.

Keep in mind this isn’t avoiding problems. You’re not dodging their needs. This is not blowing air into a smoldering bundle of tinder waiting for it to erupt into a conflagration of explosive emotion.

You are not responsible for their feelings. You are not responsible for their reactions. You are responsible for being a source of comforting support. This doesn’t mean you indulge in or turn a blind eye to situations where they’ve crossed the border into self-delusion, self-pity or for lack of a better phrase, being flat out wrong. Being rational, solid and supportive while at the same time being realistically grounded will keep you in touch without being supplicating and wimpy.

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Andrew Foster

Andrew Foster

A student of love and relationships who likes to write about and teach what I’ve learned along the way