Tag: communication

03 – A Scene from Misunderstanding and Miscommunication

03 – A Scene from Misunderstanding and Miscommunication

I don’t know why we have to make things so hard on ourselves. Some things are easily resolved if we are willing to put away our pride, apologize and be vulnerable enough to talk. Sometimes it’s even simpler – just a compassionate hug and all is good. Most of the times we just have to look past our own nose and see what’s happening in the other person’s life.

We listen to the words from the other person but not to the emotions underneath, not to the pain in their eyes or the seemingly meaningless ticks that are exhibited when expressing something uncomfortable.  Communication is so much more than watching a pair of lips move.

It’s not easy though, is it? Looking into someone’s life and being able to offer some honest sincere empathy? Something far more profound and empathetic than the requisite and empty “Oh, I’m sorry.”

How often are we able to listen to the confessions of a friend, colleague, sibling, parent or partner with zero judgement or incredulity.

You think that’s a problem?
Well that’s just silly.
How many times am I going to have to listen to this?
Is she still blaming this on me? Really?

We listen and keep listening and then talk and talk and try to put a plaster on things. We listen to the words from the other person but not to the emotions underneath, not to the pain in their eyes or the seemingly meaningless ticks that are exhibited when expressing something uncomfortable.  Communication is so much more than watching a pair of lips move.

I don’t know why I am unable to understand what Jane is going through. She feels things very deeply – far deeper than I do. In those moments when she is most in touch with her pain, anger and frustration, she is completely inaccessible to me. I offer physical affection and it is denied. I offer the time and the space for her to communicate to me however she deems fit and it is denied. I offer my sincerest apologies but those fall on deaf ears – ears that have been deafened by the overwhelming amount of apologies that have fallen on it. I offer and offer till the only thing left to do is give her a berth of space and hope that she heals in the day-to-day experiences of her existence.

That’s the thing about communication. The first rule – the most important one. More important than communicating correctly. More important than saying things in a way that are clear and objective oriented rather than emotive. It is about wanting to start communicating. The willingness to unlock the gates, break down the wall, bear your heart open – the willingness to be vulnerable. And in a time and world (both real and virtual) where vulnerability is mocked, attacked and bullied mercilessly, allowing someone to see this side of you takes courage – more than most of us understand since the majority of us have never been transparent with even ourselves.

Jane is the only person in existence to have seen everything that I am. In real time. She has seen the depth of my anger, the giddiness of my love, the childishness of my expressions, the equal opportunity ridiculousness and relative intelligence of my words, the tears that I don’t feel the need to control around her. She has seen all of me and I barely thought twice before showing her.

My openness with her sometimes upsets her because I don’t feel the need to filter anything around her. I say ‘sometimes’ but given recent developments I should swap that with ‘usually’. What do you do when the person you’re most honest with would rather see the filtered, society friendly version of you? I am brash, energetic and can be a true asshole. But I love her – always have and always will. Her love for me gave me the strength to just be me.

As much as Jane feels hurt – so do I. There is a strange pain in being rejected because of the way you choose to express yourself. I now feel uncomfortable saying what I want to. I am afraid to speak my mind. I am terrified of rocking the boat. What if it tips, capsizes and only I resurface?

It’s a full painful cycle. One that we are all familiar with regardless of what model your relationship is – even if you’re creating your own. Arguing, upset words, feelings, thoughts. Time apart, time alone, time in loneliness. Someone making the first move to communicate, talking things through, talking things out, talking about things in the past, present and future. Sometimes the talking fails – you backtrack. The whole cycle repeats itself again and again and again until you’re both finally exhausted and want nothing more than to move forward.

Relationships are hard, every single one of them.

But do they have to be?

I have heard that phrase so many times in my life that I don’t even recall where I first read or heard it. It is a true indication that the idea of an easy relationship is akin to that of a fairy-tale.

I do believe in happily-ever-afters. I do believe that we can all have them but that it doesn’t happen without a lot of elbow grease and sincere ‘I-come-with-myself-laid-bare’ conversation. To me, arguing is a part of it. It is the phase that comes after the ‘first day of school.’ It is the phase of adjustment. The phase where we test the boundaries of our partner(s). See what they’re willing to put up with. See what triggers negative reactions. See how they/I/we recover. From that, we build the foundation. We build the trust and the loyalty. We weave the pom-poms that we need to whip out when our significant other(s) needs their own personal cheer-leading team. We build the believe and faith in the concept of ‘us’. We rebuild desire.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that: showing up in love despite pain is what it’s all about. Just be present and be there.

Then the communication and understanding can begin.

triad polyamory