• Kevin Patton

Relationships

Updated: Sep 17, 2019


It is time to elect the world leader, and yours is the deciding vote. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:

Candidate A: He associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologers. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks up to ten Martinis a day.

Candidate B: He was ejected from office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a large amounts of whisky every evening.

Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extra-marital affairs.

Which of these candidates would be your choice?

Candidate A

Candidate B

Candidate C

We all tend to make ethical judgments based on conditioned and subjective views of what is right and proper and we all tend to make snap decisions in assessing whether something is right or wrong, before seeking the full story.

Good communication has been called “the lifeblood of any meaningful, close relationship.” Communication itself is the foundation of our interactions with others.

It can take the form of a smile, a handshake, a kind word, an angry stare, a tearful good-bye, a wink across the room, or a warm conversation. All of these words and actions combine to send a message — to communicate.

Research on strong family relationships has consistently shown that good family communication is one of the cornerstones of a healthy family life. To strengthen family communication we need to understand what communication is and how to make it better.

Communication is the process or way we transfer information from one person to another so that it is received and understood.

Real, genuine communication makes it possible for family members to feel cared for and listened to and assures them that their thoughts and ideas have been clearly understood.

Communication in family relationships is not only about what we say or suggest, but about how we say it and the strategies we use to send our messages. It has been said that you cannot not communicate.

In other words, even if you are sitting in a corner and not talking to other family members, you are still sending a message — such as “Leave me alone.” John Gottman, a leading expert on family relationships, has found that a key difference in healthy versus unhealthy relationships is the amount of positive rather than negative interactions that take place. Strengthening family communication so that it is consistently positive, open, and meaningful is important for building better family relationships.

In my next blog, we will explore some things we can do to strengthen our relationships. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with some questions

Think about your own family relationships.

  • What do you say to each other?

  • Is it more positive than negative?

  • How do you create better family communication?

A builder came up to the reception desk in a doctor’s office. The receptionist asked him why he was there.

“I got shingles,” he said. She took down his name and address, and told him to have a seat.

Fifteen minutes later a nurse came out and asked him what he had. “Shingles,” he replied. She took down his height, weight, and a complete medical history and told him to wait in the examining room.

A half hour later, a nurse came in and asked him what he had. “ I got shingles,” he replied again. She took his blood pressure and temperature, then told him to sit on the table and wait for the doctor.

An hour later, the doctor came in and asked him what he had. He said, “I got shingles.”

The doctor said, “Where?” He said, “Outside in the truck. Where do you want me to put them?”

• What went wrong with the communication in this story?

• What could the staff at the surgery have done to understand the builder better?

• What could the builder have done to be better understood?


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