In the July/August issue of Well Being Journal is an article entitled, Communicating to Relate vs. Communicating to Control by Susan Campbell and John Grey.
The authors of this article both agree that we all build up communication habits we need to unlearn so that we can relate more and control less, which will keep our love life alive.
Below are some examples of the difference between relating in a relationship and controlling in a relationship:
- Seeks to know the other person and to be known
- Uses I messages and self-disclosure
- Listens openly, with curiosity and empathy, showing an ability to hold and wait
- Collaborates to find an outcome that takes both partners’ needs into account
- Values being right, knowing what will happen, having things all figured out
- Uses “you” messages, sales pitches, power tactics, and manipulation
- Makes assumptions and generalizations about the other and believes these are right
- Assumes that being open to a partner’s needs means giving up one’s own
The following quote from the article sums up the authors’ message:
“The goal is to know and be known by our partner at the deepest level – not to win, be right, or stay out of trouble.”