COMMUNICATION FOR SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS
of The Living Spirit Answers for Healing and Infinite Love that shares
stories of spiritual awakening, spiritual communication, healing
energies, miracles and a way to empower yourself for greater health
prosperity and happiness welcomes Jonathan Robinson author of his new
book MORE LOVE Less Conflict who will help you recognize the stress in
your relationships and suggest simple easy communication skills that can
set things right. Jonathan Robinson is a former guest of the show and
listeners may go to my website www.sherylglick.com to hear a previous
episode of “Healing From Within” as we discuss another of his books
Finding Happiness Go to the radio page link to March 23, 2015
Jonathan as listeners of Healing From Within are well aware my guests
and I share intimate personal and insightful stories that help us pay
more attention to our thoughts and actions as we begin to see past the
physical constraints some misbeliefs, habits and patterns, so engrained
in our functioning that may cause pain and dysfunction. It appears that
when we realize our dual nature as both spiritual and physical beings
and use the right tools, understandings and lifestyle, we can find
improved relationships, peace love and success in joyful living.
In today’s episode Jonathan Robinson psychologist and author of 12 books
has made numerous appearance on the Oprah show and has articles in USA
today Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times and co-hosts the podcast
“Awareness Explorers” states that everyone really wants care,
understanding and empathy, in their relationship, however, the Four
Culprits or the Four Horseman of the Relationship
Apocalypse..Denigration Denial Dismissal and Distraction separate us
from having the best interaction with our partners and indeed all
people. We will discover some of the 30 simple easy to implement
practical communication strategies to dissipate the tension create more
connection and ramp up the love even suggesting ways to get resistant
partners to participate.
Jonathan tell us that he wrote Communication Miracles for Couples twenty
years ago and the nature of life and relationships has changed a lot
since then. No one has a computer from 20 years ago because technology
has advanced so much in the past two decades. In a similar way people
need to update their methods of communication to keep up with the
changing times. A lot of books on communication and relationships offer
good ideas and theories but little in the way of simple powerful and
precise methods. MORE LOVE Less Conflict offers good ideas and easy
practical techniques that lead to more love trust and connection. Any
person using these methods should be able to consistently create
communication miracles in their own lives.
Jonathan tells us what might be seen as a communication miracle. A
communication miracle might be when you find yourself resisting using
the exercises and skills in this book because a part of you wants to
argue, be right, or play the victim and then you decide to use these
exercises and give up self-righteousness, blaming and victimhood. Giving
these things up is indeed hard, but being lost in blame and feeling
separate from your wife is even harder and more painful. By overcoming
resistance to these techniques for better communication and making then
into a ritual that you call on often, you can have a better result and
relationship more of the time engaging in conversations and
participating in actions that align to your growth and positivity and
add to the wellbeing of your relationship as well. For this to happen,
you must be a keen observer waiting before acting on any impulse and
learning to for the most part be proactive not reactive. These acquired
skills need you to be patient non-judgmental and open to all
possibilities-not closed minded.
Jonathan gives us examples of several simple methods described in the
book. There are a lot of great methods but here are two that are very
easy to remember.
First, there is a method called, “If you really knew me.” Partners or
friends take two minutes completing the sentence. If you really knew me
you’d know I love to meditate. If you really knew me you would know I
wish I were a kinder person. If you really knew me you would know I get
nervous during these interviews. By repeatedly completing that sentence
for two minutes it helps people quickly get to a place of increasing
vulnerability and intimacy.
A second method is simply called “The Appreciation Practice.” In this
method, couples take turns saying something they have appreciated about
their partner recently. It could be a trait their partner has or
something they did, or something they may have said. By sharing many
things we appreciate about our partner, it makes the love stronger and
shows our partner what is important to us. Once they know what we
appreciates they’re more likely to do those things in the future.
Another part of the process opening up a good dialogue between people
wishing to improve their communication begins with “Five Simple
What stories am I telling myself about this situation
What do I really want?
What am I feeling?
What do I imagine my partner is thinking, wanting, and feeling?
How can I listen and express myself in a way that shows my partner my
care understanding and empathy?
We are all aware that with the divorce rate almost reaching 50% of all
married couples so many couples are having a hard time nowadays even
more than in the past perhaps.
Well life is more stressful than ever, so if you don’t have great
methods to communicate, it can be easy to all into either blame or
increasing distance or distraction via TV and the internet. Most people
have little or no training in how to communicate in a way that fosters
deep trust and intimacy so their results aren’t very good. The good news
is a little knowledge and practice can go a long way. By reading a
single book on communication most people can learn little tricks and
methods that put them leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. It has
helped Jonathan not only create a good marriage but has also lead to a
lot of friends and career success.
Another simple and helpful way to divert a fight or calamity is to have
a key word or phrase that alerts your partner that things are heating up
and going to explode. Jonathan uses the term “Yellow Light” when things
are starting to go bad and when his wife hears it they both know it’s
time for a time out.
As a psychotherapist Jonathan sees a lot of couples in counseling and
Sheryl asks him what is the most common issue he sees coming up over and
over again. In his office Jonathan finds couples almost always complain
about not feeling fully understood or appreciated by their partner. Also
blame is very common. Helping your partner feel understood appreciated
and loved are indeed the ingredients to successful partnering. This must
be accomplished by paying attention listening and being consistent when
asked to help or change some behaviors that negatively impact the other
person and ultimately your relationship
Sheryl says… “As a Reiki energy practitioner teacher and medium I have
discovered that many people simply want to love and be loved, but do not
realize The Universal Law of Attraction is in play for all action we
take and this law shows why it is so hard to accomplish what we desire
or need when it states “What you send out into the world in the way of
thoughts and actions is returned to you.” Therefore, the best way to
achieve what you need or want is to become more of that state of being
you wish to see in others. Work first on yourself to cultivate loving
ways actions and thoughts . Become more loving accepting interesting
joyful helpful kind and fun. Find joyful pursuits that help you
understand yourself better. How can we truly know another person, if we
have not begun a self-investigative process to know ourselves in a
clearer and more complete way.”
In her book The Living Spirit Sheryl addressed this very important issue
and wrote, “ Each of us is unique and we are on different karmic and
energetic pursuits. As we learn to apply energetic laws and use them
more consistently, we will help created a more harmonious world. Those
who understand and live by these Laws of Energy or follow the virtues of
patience humility faith love respect honor and kindness will have less
friction and fewer confrontations in their relationships. Individual
practicing the higher laws of Spirit may share this expanding wisdom and
state of harmony with others and be an influence for change as their
behavior and actions exhibit a positive energy state. With greater
knowledge comes a greater responsibility to exchange these ideas with
those who will listen.”
In other words the change begins with each of us and as we cannot change
the other person we can only provide for our own happiness and personal
growth through attention to our own behaviors, thoughts, actions and
hopes, for continuing acceptance love and seeing what is best in each of
us, and allowing whatever needs to change in its own time. In other
words, we must all do a personal assessment of our own contributing
factors to any unsatisfactory relationship, without blaming the other
person who is only following their own view of the world as they
perceive it to be. We can avoid being drawn into situations that are not
in tune with our needs or goals, but must allow others the way to find
their own truth, even if we see it as not suitable for our development.
Jonathan shares one very important thing couples can do to quickly
improve the quality of their relationship. According to research by Dr.
John Gottman a conscious practice of telling your partner what you
appreciate about them quickly helps to improve the quality of any
relationship. In addition, increasing the amount of empathy makes a big
difference in how satisfied partners are with each other. In my book I
have exercises that help couples to increase empathy in a very safe and
When asked how long he has been married and if he and his wife have an
easy no conflict marriage he responds that they don’t have a conflict
free relationship and he doubts anyone actually does. And that is why he
initially studied communication. Fortunately as we’ve practiced various
communication methods our intimacy has increased and our conflicts have
decreased. Without such knowledge and skills, I don’t think we would
have survived as a couple because my wife and I are very different.
We’ve learned to enjoy each other’s differences and each other over the
Sheryl believes nothing, including the family we are born into and the
relationships we choose, or that choose us, is random. Perhaps many
people are attracted to what they believe to be someone so different
from themselves, but, in actuality are only mirroring their own
weaknesses strengths or needs for improvement and growth. Perhaps, we
are not as different as we first appear when we take a deeper look at
ourselves and our partners. Every relationship offers us opportunities
to see ourselves more clearly and to change what needs to change within
Sheryl says that it is important to remember that despite differences or
similarities, we all have an innate soul life plan and journey, and if
we are not allowed to pursue and develop our spiritual gifts, we will
become bitter ill or dissatisfied with life. We cannot allow anyone,
even a spouse or relative to damage our soul needs. We must learn to
identify what is important to us and develop resilience patience and
other virtues that allow us to pursue our own interests, without
disturbing others from their own needs. I wish I knew that so long ago
when all my husband wanted to do was play golf every Sunday and I wanted
him to engage in family activities. He never did make that shift but I
found friends who engaged in family activities and developed other ways
to find enjoyment after deciding it wasn’t worth fighting over. He
really did need that activity to let off steam after a hard week of
work. I see that now, thought, it wasn’t as apparent to me then.
Jonathan gives a final piece of advice for people wanting to improve any
of their relationships. The biggest factor in determining a person’s
level of happiness is the quality of their relationships. The biggest
factor in establishing good quality relationships is the ability to
communicate effectively. Therefore my advice is to take a bit of time
and learn effective ways to communicate that actually aid you in knowing
yourself and others better, which ultimately leads to greater
acceptance, love, and appreciation for each other and life in general.
Satisfaction in our own accomplishments and appreciating the efforts and
accomplishments of others is the key to finding peace which is quite
simply accepting yourself and others as they are, without trying to
manipulate or change them, as that only breeds anger and pain. Flowing
in life as the river flows to the ocean without obstruction and sabotage
are indeed good beginnings for developing the language and behaviors
that encourage smiles and cooperation rather than excessive control
competition and an inappropriate view of yourself and others.
Jonathan and Sheryl offer suggestions for improving communication that
is not face to face—such as text and emails.
First it might be advisable to know that men and women communicate
differently. On average women speak about thirteen thousand more words a
day than men. Two things happen in a man’s brain when a woman says to
him, “We need to talk.” Initially he figures he’s in some kind of
trouble. Of course, that doesn’t feel good. Next, he thinks to himself:
This talk is probably going to go on forever. To counteract that problem
simply set a specific time frame for important communication.
As far as text and e-mails men would find it easier to deal with texts
and e-mail, while women want actual face to face engagement. Also
technology is creating an even greater divide in the time men and women
spend together, and it is beginning now early on as children and
teenagers rely so heavily on their phones and technology. They will not
be able to know how to talk to friends and partners about many feelings
and issues if this behavior is not counteracted with other ways to
improve and understand communication skills. We cannot allow a
deterioration of proper etiquette and behavior in relationships. Effort
patience awareness and consistency is once again the way to deal with
common issues of communication. Relationships are being harmed by
addictive and overuse of communicating with social media tools.
Some of the main obstacles to people having better communication are a
society intent on accumulating material success and paying attention to
the demands of other people and being caught up in their own stories and
perceptions many of which have not been looked at and changed for
optimum happiness and success. Also LISTENING SKILLS are poor.
Most people are not good listeners. They are intent on expressing their
own thoughts and concerns. A listening technique you suggest which can
help people become better listeners is quite simple. You Talk….I’ll
Listen In this technique partners take turns speaking without any
interruptions for a specified length of time. .. typically 3 or 4
While one partner speaks the other’s job is to the listen making a
conscious effort to avoid distractions and interruptions . Once the
first person is done, the partners trade roles.
If you find yourself having a hard time knowing what to say here are
some sentence prompts that may help you get started.
What’s been going on with me lately?
Something I’ve been seeing or learning in my life is……
In our relationship, I’ve been noticing….
Lately, I’ve been concerned about……
Lately. I’ve been hoping….
It is also important to discover the ways that a person “recognizes love
is being expressed” and it is different for each of us. These ways that
we begin to feel that love is expressed happens in childhood. If your
father always gave you small presents when he traveled for business you
will now appreciate small gifts from your husband. If your Mother asked
you to pick up food or cleaning and appreciated acts of service as an
adult you may expect need or wish for the same type of action from your
partner and feel loved as a result of these gestures or behaviors. In
his book The Five Love Languages Gary Chapman describes the five primary
languages in which partners give and receive love: words of affirmation,
acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. It’s
helpful to know your own particular love language, but it’s even more
useful to understand how your partner receives love from you.
Jonathan shares suggestion for how couples avoid arguments?
By beginning to talk about their feelings and needs on a regular basis
so they don’t keep repeating the same habitual problems.
Here is an exercise to begin to communicate and understand how to
resolve an on- going problem.
Partner 1 What’s been going on with me is…tell your story. Partner 2
What I heard was….summarize what you heard)
Partner 1 I would also like to add….clarify anything that was missed
during the recap.
Partner 2 What I got from your sharing is…summarize the most important
thing you learned.
Here is an example of the above process. This interaction must go on
many times in many situations before partners will be able to resolve
many of these issues and avoid resentment blame and anger.
So Jane shares that she is doing all the work and not receiving help
Joe says that what he hears is that Jane is upset because she would like
him to put in his fair share of the work. He also heard that a clean
house makes her feel better.
Jane says She would like to add that she doesn’t feel appreciated for
all she is doing. She is being taken for granted and resents that.
Joe says that what he got from her sharing is she feels resentful and
not appreciated for all the work she is doing and values a clean house
and wants to be appreciated for all she does.
Smart phones have a real effect on our communication skills. Taking
responsibility is actually hard to do. We often see other’s mistakes
much more clearly than our own Moreover taking responsibility makes us
feel vulnerable and true vulnerability is not easy to bear. Smart phones
are having an extreme effect on our behaviors and state of well being
and we must be responsible in handling advanced technology using it
properly. Setting up some guidelines with your partner could be helpful.
For example if you both decide not to use your cell phone when at a
restaurant movie or when the other person is trying to talk to you. No
one wants to talk to a person whose head is in his phone..it is
dismissive and simply rude showing no repect for the other person.
Phones should not be near you when you are sleeping as the electronic
waves and light are disruptive to a healthy night’s rest. When dealing
with your children you should be giving them your complete attention and
eye contact as often as possible. This all bodes well for showing loving
empathic and cooperative ways to interact.
Jonathan says that in real estate there’s a saying that people are
looking for “location, location, location”….In communication people are
really looking for validation that they are important to you and you are
a valued member of the family business or event. In Jonathan’s opinion
they are really looking to be understood known and appreciated loved and
cared for. Only the development of empathy within you can help you
understand yourself, and then allow you to know that others share many
of the same issues fears and limitations and simply need to be reminded
all will pass from this moment to the next, whether we engage and fight,
or reflect and find ways for everyone to exist in cooperation and
harmony. Once you enter the space of blame you can never find what you
or your partner are looking for. Eliminate blame from all conflict and
the world will truly be a different place. Accept responsibility for
There a simple technique that can help a person deal with a difficult or
highly upset person.
When you are upset with your partner it is easy to fall into the old
patterns of fight flight or freeze. Self empathy allows you to feel calm
and understood without having to rely n your partners communication
skills. Once you feel better your communication with your partner will
be more effective. Another quick way to take care of yourself and slow
down the action is to try stretching yawning or taking some mindful deep
Whenever you sense that a conversation is veering into an argument or is
filled with blame, try the following exercise. It involves each partner
to reveal how their specific words or actions contributed to a specific
Ask yourself: How has my behavior contributed to the problem at hand.
Ask yourself: How have any of my shortcomings made this more difficult
for my partner?
Ask yourself: Have I said or done something or not said or done
something that has contributed to this problem. Share these answers with
your partner Apologizing is hard on the ego which is why most people
don’t do it but would you rather be right and self-righteous or would
you rather be loved by your partner. You choose. You can rarely have
We have concluded that indeed men and women communicate differently On
average women speak about thirteen thousand more words a day than men.
Two things happen in a man’s brain when a woman says to him, “We need to
talk.” Initially he figures he’s in some kind of trouble. Of course,
that doesn’t feel good. Next, he thinks to himself: This talk is
probably going to go on forever. To counteract that problem simply set a
specific time frame for important communication.
Just because we tell our partners what bothers us does not mean they’ll
refrain from those behaviors. To be fully in control of our destiny we
need to be familiar with our own triggers or responses that make us lose
our balance and then act badly and we must work to become less reactive
to them. Unfortunately, most people are more familiar with their
partner’s triggers than their own. This leads them to put all their
energy into trying to change their partners rather than changing
themselves and Sheryl believes this is more prevalent in the way women
approach achieving what they want in their relationships. This leads to
heartache and failure in communicating for the truth is we cannot change
anyone if they don’t see the need to change or want to. Bad feelings are
then generated and words said that often cannot be taken back. Sheryl
believes that we mirror our own weaknesses and needs and expect
happiness to be given to us by others when in actuality happiness can
only be achieved by finding it within ourselves, and from our own
realization of our needs that lead us to achieving our goals.
In summarizing today’s episode of “Healing From Within” it becomes
clearer to each of us that finding peace and happiness, well being and a
productive life is based on moving past ego minded reality, fears and
limitations, and finding better ways to appreciate ourselves partners
friends and family. and to do this we need to constantly work on
understanding our emotions, triggers, traumas and wounds, so we can
begin to understand through communication new found ways to exhibit
patience acceptance and proactive behavior rather than reactive action.
This is the way to improve the quality of life.
Jonathan says that no matter the skill we go through four distinct
stages. In the first stage you are unaware of how much you don’t know.
In the second stage you understand there is a lot to learn In phase
three if you don’t give up you begin to use your new skills to create
the result you need. In stage four you achieve what is called
“unconscious competence.” You become a master communicator. That is the
Jonathan also gives a quote in his book from a monk around the year of
1100 and wrote,
“When I was a young man I wanted to change the world. I found it was
difficult to change the world so I decided to change my nation. When I
found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I
couldn’t change my town. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I
can change is myself and suddenly I realize that if, long ago, I had
changed myself, I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact
could have changed the nation, and I could indeed have changed the
Jonathan and I would hope that we all begin anew to love ourselves, as
we acknowledge that we are not perfect for no one or nothing is, but as
reflections of the Universal Source of Creation and as evolving souls
with increasing degrees of awareness, consciousness, we can guide
ourselves to greater love and greater compassion and we can learn to
communicate honestly with empathy and indeed move forward to a more
I am Sheryl Glick host of “Healing From Within” and invite you to my
website www.sherylglick.com to listen to and read about leaders in the
metaphysical fields and ordinary people achieving extraordinary results
in exploring the world and mind body and spirit. Shows may also be heard
on www.webtalkradio.net and www.dreamvisions7radio.com