the key to working relationships
easy--but is it really? The romantic ideal is that your partner knows just what
to say and knows what you want and need, and you wont have to say a thing.
We get this message from movies, TV, and romance novels. The reality is that no
one can read our minds, and we cant get mad at our partners if they dont
give that hug when we need it or say I love you when we want to hear
it the most.
The hard part is learning to ask for that hug or those three little words that
mean so much. Waiting for your partner to say or do something you want, and her
not knowing it, causes hard feelings on your part and leaves your girlfriend wondering
whats wrong. It may even get to the point where you give her the silent
treatment or become irritable. More than likely, she will then get upset and a
fight will start. At some point she may have even asked you what was wrong and
you may have told her nothing. This chapter will help you learn how
to communicate more effectively so that the above scenario happens less and smoother
communication happens more often.
We all have heard that there are two types of communication: verbal and nonverbal.
You never have one without the other. What might be surprising is that nonverbal
takes up the largest percentage of communication with verbal coming in a distant
The reason for this is that the words are only a small part of communication.
The bulk comes from facial expressions and body language. For instance, suppose
you run into a friend and ask her how she is doing. She openly smiles and says,
Fine. Her arms are at her sides and theyre relaxed. Now you
run into another friend and ask the same question. This person smiles tightly,
nothing more than a showing of her teeth; her eyebrows are pulled down; her arms
are crossed over her chest and in an angry tone of voice she replies, Fine!
Would you think your friend was fine or would you think the answer
was not matching all the other cues given?
We process the nonverbals so automatically we usually dont think about it,
we just react to it. There are also those times when we may ask someone how they
are and they say fine but they seem subdued. Again, a nonverbal and
more subtle cue than the circumstance just described, but no less meaningful.
In the circumstance where the verbals dont match the angry nonverbals one
would usually ask, Whats wrong? In the circumstance where the
messages dont match and are subtle, we may choose to ask if everything really
is all right, or we may leave it alone and take it at face value. The best option
here would be to err on the side of caution and ask anyway.
Remember: pay close attention to the verbals and pay even closer attention to
TO BE A HAPPY LESBIAN:
A COMING OUT GUIDE
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