There’s a part of your heart you might not think about very often – the spiritual side, the seat of your innermost emotions. It’s the part that shapes all your relationships in your life – from your marriage and your kids, to your grandkids, to your coworkers, to your neighbors, friends, anyone you have to interact with on a personal level. If this part of your heart is not communicating honestly and effectively with all the people in your life, and your relationships are at odds because of it, it can poorly impact the health of your physical heart.
Speak From Your Heart and Improve Your Relationships
You may have gotten into a disagreement with a loved one before. While you were arguing your side of the disagreement with what you felt were facts and logic, did you feel that you weren’t really expressing your true self or feelings? Did you feel that you were trying to be fair, wanting to end the disagreement as quickly as possible, and yet hiding, or damping down, your most private emotions on the subject?
If so, you weren’t allowing that other part of your heart to express itself – the one that holds your innermost feelings. Instead you kept them bottled up for the sake of just wanting to end the disagreement and restore the status quo. Ending a disagreement and restoring peace and harmony is good for your blood pressure and your stress levels, which affect your physical heart health, but not expressing what’s really in your heart to people you love is not good either. In fact, it’s like your loved ones are really in a relationship with someone they don’t really know. Someone whom they’re not really connecting with or sharing the most basic of your human emotions – fear, joy, sorrow, self-doubt.
Why do you – and most people – do this? A professional personal communications consultant, Quentin Schultze calls it “emotionally cocooning” – afraid to open up and express what you really feel. You’re afraid you’re going to seriously damage, or somehow change, the relationship with your loved one, or whomever you’re trying to communicate with. So, you take what you think is the safe route and hide all those innermost feelings. In business organizations, where employees are often afraid to express their true thoughts about how things are run for fear of losing their job, this kind of thing happens all the time. As a result, management doesn’t know what anyone is really thinking or feeling. Then they have to hire expensive consultants to come in and find out.
Emotional cocooning also happens frequently in many interpersonal relationships and, the truth is, it’s not really good for them. You’ve heard of couples, or parents and kids, friends, who seem to always be “expressing” themselves – telling each other what they really think of this or that behavior. It may seem like they’re being over-critical of their loved ones, and/or whining, but in reality, their relationships are likely healthier than those where people are constantly covering up out of fear.
The following are some ways to honestly and effectively communicate with your loved ones, and anyone you interact with, to establish a more secure grounding in the relationship. Doing so will help you deepen the connection and feel more confident in the relationship.
1. Speak from peace, not conflict. Communicating solely from your intellect invites judgment and critical, even hurting remarks to enter into disputes. The intellect creates the need to be rational and right, to dominate, or “win”, the interaction. Allowing your heart to connect to the person in a compassionate discussion, expressing your feelings, and allowing them to express theirs, without judgment, or attaching “right” and “wrong” responses, will strengthen your relationship.
2. Compose yourself first. When discussions get heated, or there are conflicts that need ironing out, before opening your mouth, center for a few moments, and ask yourself what do you want to be the result of this discussion? If you want to settle a misunderstanding, or address a perceived slight or dispute, and keep your relationship intact with the person, you don’t want to come out swinging or shooting from the hip. Approaching the conversation calmly by opening your true heart – the one that wants to keep this relationship intact – will help.
3. See Yourself in Them. Remember, you’re not the only one who needs to express their heart – your spouse, kids, friends, and everyone you interact with also has the same basic need. When you have to “go there” with someone, do so from a place of kindness and remembrance of what this person means to you. At least make the attempt to understand what their complaint is – even if it seems really out in left field and unfounded. Dig deeper to understand where the complaint comes from – the same as you would like them to do for you.
Communicating from the ‘other side’ of your heart more often keeps you from getting caught up in minor disputes. It will also allow you to get to the bottom of major arguments much more quickly if you open up and express your true feelings rather than hurrying to put a Band-Aid on the wound before it’s been cleaned out. Expressing your innermost emotions, tactfully and with sensitivity to the feelings and beliefs of others, can help improve your relationships, lower stress levels and boost your overall heart health.
Dale Brown, B.S., M.A., C.E.C.
Natural Health News
The 2 Basic Problems in Our Communication, http://quentinschultze.com/2-communication-problems/
Communicate from your Heart and Soul, http://ginigrey.com/LoveBug/communicate-from-your-heart-and-soul/