By Bart Sharp
One of the biggest problems in relationships is people want the other person to be something they are not. In order to shape the other person they use some form of control in an attempt to create change.
The response to control change be anything from resistance, defiance to the recipient contracting inside. It misses the point of what relating to another person is about
, building a secure connection between two people.
For many controlling another is an unconscious act, it has been done for so long it has become a pattern with the reasons why we started repressed away. In general, control over others is an act of safety, we had to use control in order to function in our family.
How do we break out of the patterns of control and begin relating to others in a more honoring, vulnerable way?
We begin with listening skills as the path to emotional transformation. When we listen do we stop thinking about what we wish to say and remain present to the other person? If we can listen with complete attention we open to hearing beyond words but feel the content underneath. Language is often not able to express what we would really like to convey, the thoughts, beliefs and emotions are too complex for words. We often know we fall short in communicating our message. The listener must have a more difficulty and as a result they are relating to another person through their own experience. This will bring up their own emotional limitations when they listen in their own insulated perspective, it will stimulate their own limitations instead of being open to possibilities of perceiving another persons world. This is especially true in more intimate relationships, the closer we bring someone in the more we become triggered to act out our own limitations. It is a reactionary process.
To break out of these patterns in relating we really have to listen without fear and control but with a willingness to connect. A type of communion with another, meaning we merge deeper into their perspective through listening. Below are a few important guidelines to improve your listening skills.
Be willing to give the moments required to the other person by solely listening.
Be willing to listen without the expectation of relating your own story to their story.
Let down your defenses, be willing to be vulnerable. When we listen to someone, particularly an intimate relation, we can internally be triggered with our own fears and next our defensiveness appears inside. These are only memories of the past being stimulated by the conversation. Do not react but maintain your focus on the other person, then the feelings will pass. When we are able to let down our defenses and detach from our own emotion more energy is directed to the other person.
When we make a choice to let my defenses down we hear the other person with our hearts, we open to a heart consciousness and emotional transformation. When we are in this higher state of being our awareness expands. We are able to hear beyond the words. We feel their emotions and the perspectives they are coming from but are explaining with words. We perceive the gestalt. It is actually opening the opening the door to listening with our intuition. Through our heart perceptions we open to more awareness.
Do not judge, the most important point of view. As soon as we allow judging thoughts to enter into our mind we begin to disconnect from openness. If a judgment arises, let it pass. Do not buy into the impulse to judge but simply listen as if you wish to know what it is like to be completely in their world. Judgments always separate us from others and a higher consciousness. At some level the other person may sense our judgments and not feel safe to share so deeply. Even simple judgments such as not liking the shirt they are wearing should be avoided.
One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is to hear them completely. We all wish to be understood in the greatness and aspirations we see in ourselves. Yet often the environment for safe and supportive expression is not there.
When we actually hear someone without judgment, we will see things about them we have missed and most likely have more reverence for them.
Also, because we listen through our heart instead of our mind and defensiveness we relate without the impulses of our fears as part of the equation to the relationship. We open to new patterns of relating where control to others is not so present in an unconsciousness way.
We begin to learn how to relate in a state of heart consciousness and open to the joy of having a more genuine loving presence with others opening the door for emotional transformation. In addition when in the state of heart consciousness we train our body to a state of heart coherence where we are in a more relaxed state of being. Not only do we feel better being in a more relaxed state, but those we communicate with are more comfortable in our presence. Functioning from the heart is a higher state of being/emotional transformation or consciousness than the mind plus we direct ourselves away from our older mental patterns based in fear.