Communicating with Love – Made Simple

I’ve been thinking about conversations and the ways that we go about expressing ourselves to others.

I sometimes forget the power of my own words, and the power of the energy behind them.

It’s easy to get caught up with your own feelings, that you forget how those feelings might land when shared and if they might actually derail someone from the direction they are going, even if only temporarily.

For example, sometimes my husband will come home from a long day and I can see he wants to share something exciting.

At the same time, I am about to explode over something that has been bothering me for the last several hours.

So rather than waiting and letting him share, I jump in with what I THINK is more pressing: MY issue, of course!

So not only am I NOT taking him in, but let’s be honest: I completely take the wind out of his sails, killing his vibe.

And while he is pretty good at lovingly calling me out on it, I think about how we, mostly I, can do better.

Here is my question for you today.

How often do you take time to think about HOW what you are about to say is going to land?

And instead of just jumping into what you need to say, do you ever try to create a space that might actually make it EASIER for your words to be digested, rather than deflected?  

Think about it:  deflecting is what people do when you throw something at them.

I recently read a passage in a book by Liane Moriarty. The characters were two young sisters, 8 and 4 years old. On an unfortunate day, the older sister found out their father had suddenly passed away.

When her younger sister came home, she told her to get into her pajamas and get into her bed and under the covers.

I am paraphrasing, but she said something to the effect of, “I am about to tell you something that is going to hurt real bad. And I don’t want you to be afraid or to be in pain.”

She then crawled into bed and held her little sister tightly as she told her what happened to their father.

She knew how bad the words were going to hurt. And she did everything she could to make it a little less painful.

I cried when I read that. I still cry, thinking about it now.

While I realize this is an extreme case, I wonder what our lives would be like if we took that same kind of care when sharing our thoughts with others?

Especially when those thoughts might just have a big impact on the person we are sharing them with.

What would it be like if you made sure that you created a somewhat sacred space before diving into telling someone you are breaking up with them.

Or quitting a job.

Or lividly upset with their prior actions.

Or can no longer commit to something you already promised.

You might be surprised that this little extra effort does yield some great results and actually gives the person an opportunity to take it in.

I am not saying you have to micromanage and control everything. (Or that they will like what you have to say!)

One thing I say to my husband when he gets upset with my vibe killing is, “Look, this is life! It’s messy and effed up and I can’t always wait for the perfect time to tell you something. We are so damn busy. The time will never be right! This information will bother you even if I wait to say it at just the right time.”

To some degree, this is true. Life really is messy. And we can’t always do things in a nice and sacred way. But we can certainly try.

We can try to deliver our messages with more care.

We can try to stop and zoom out so that our need to vent our own feelings is not the only thing driving us. Communicating with love isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Here is a mantra to help you drop into the power of your own words.

I use my words to heal
I use my words to bless

Close your eyes and just repeat those words. Can you use your words to both heal and be a blessing to someone else today?

I’m curious:  do you ever get so caught up in the moment that you forget that your words, and how you say them, have the power to really impact someone? Have you ever had that happen to you? I would love to hear about it.

Share your thoughts below! I’m excited to hear what you think.

Love,
Erin

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24 Responses to Communicating with Love – Made Simple

  1. Kate says:

    In becoming a foster, soon-to-be adoptive parent, I’ve realized how important my words are to these children. I can’t use certain phrases as I would with my bio kids, as the others can take them differently. So I am more conscious about using me words so that they will intentionally bless them.

    • Erin says:

      Wow. What an incredible journey you are embarking on. It sounds like you are bringing some beautiful wisdom. Many blessings to you and your family. Xo

  2. Joanne says:

    Hi Erin,
    This is a very powerful post for me… as it is something that I have struggled with all of my life. It is so important to think about what you are going to say and when. Not an easy task but so powerful. I love the way you talk about it and I am going to write out those two mantras + keep them with me.

    xo,
    Joanne

  3. Kim B says:

    I just read the same book and was especially touched with the way that the sister handled sharing the news.

    I tend to deliver my words in a more gentler way when typing them, rather than speaking. I think that we’ve all become rushed in our delivery in this day and age. I’m guilty of speaking and then backtracking…but really…it’s too late at that point.

    Great blog post, great words. Thank you!

    • Erin says:

      It was such a touching passage, wasn’t it? Yes, writing them is easier sometkmes because I think there is a little space between the thoughts. But sounds like you have some great awareness around it. 🙂 xo

  4. alexandra says:

    oh my gosh, Erin, of course i have been in this situation! haven’t we all!?

    someone very dear to me always said, “stop. think. react.” when i do [remember] to do this in heated arguments, it definitely helps.

    this story touched my heart. and i love your mantra.

    it’s also hard in relationships to differentiate between what you think is caring and what your boyfriend/husband/SO think as “nagging.” that in itself is a struggle!

    xo

  5. Rhonda says:

    I appreciated this today post Erin. I have had to learn how to handle my delivery to spouse and others when necessary and I am still learning. When things escalate, it is especially challenging to try to remain quiet and control the tongue as the what we say can never be taken back. I have been on both ends of the delivery of harsh words and I choose to practice calm and self control when situations occur. Not an easy task, but one that is truly worth practicing as we want to take care of our relationships, not abuse them.

    Thank you for sharing this topic and giving your suggestion to practice.

  6. Caitlin says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that I get caught in the moment more than I would like to admit. Its usually because I am caught up in my own head! Thank you for you example from the book…I’ll have to put that one on my list…it made me tear up just reading your example. So powerful. I plan to print out your mantra and place around my home to remind me to create a positive energy space for myself and those I welcome into my space. Thank you.

  7. Daphne says:

    Erin, this is a great post and a wonderful reminder! It’s so important to always strive to be our best, but so easy to forget. Thank you!!

  8. Jeanette says:

    Thanks for this Erin..being a Sagittarian I used to be guilty of bluntness, though not nasty as have been on the receiving end of verbal & emotional abuse..and that REALLY hurts. I’d rather back off and go for a walk!
    I do have to think sometimes..greet first..ask how their day went..before launching into my blah blah blah..lol
    It helps a lot!
    And really listen..listen..listen..to their replies..I’m still learning on that one.without trying to fix too.
    And being authentic.
    Coming from a rocky childhood I was guilty of keeping the peace and not saying what I really felt/ needed, which doesn’t help anyone either. Even I didn’t know what I was thinking after a while! Just causes more confusion.
    All a big learning curve..

  9. Christina says:

    Hi Erin, this post is awesome and hits close to home for me. I have a Ph.D in speaking before I think and I’ve hurt a lot of people because of it, especially my husband. My personality is upfront and I speak my mind and rarely do I take into account how it comes out or the impact it will have. I married my husband 5 years ago and he’s taught me to start thinking before I say anything especially when we’re fighting. I’ve gotten a lot better but it goes against my grain and that’s being honest. I grew up a very quiet child and never voiced anything but as I got older and bolder, voicing my thoughts became a good/bad thing. Now that I’m in my late 40’s, there is a realization that my words hurt and because I love my husband/family/friends, it takes me a minute to adjust my thinking and speak. Sometimes even then it comes out wonky. I’m a constant work in progress and I’m good with that. My husband loves me as does my family and we all try and accept each other for who we are even in our bad moments. Thanks Erin! I love your posts! 🙂

  10. Sherrie says:

    This is great advice Erin! So simple, yet I have a hard time (as do many members in my family)of allowing the other person to speak (and feel) — I interrupt because I don’t want to forget something, want to “help” or give advice, looking for validation, speed up the conversation, etc. Allowing pause in the conversation is respectful to the speaker as well as everyone else involved. It would also be powerful to be responsible for the energy we bring to a conversation 🙂

  11. Julia says:

    Wow, Erin! Thank you for this well timed message. Powerful and just what I needed. I will take this message to heart. Thank you!!!

  12. Sarah says:

    well…aww..that’s so sad! Thanks for the message anyway Erin. Also I was a brat when I was little. Now I’m so sensitive. And I’m in my early 20’s.

  13. Janet says:

    Thanks for this email Erin. And thanks to all the ladies who responded. I can relate. Speaking without thinking has always been something I naturally do. I try to tell myself that once you see or hear something it can’t be unseen or unheard. Sometimes it helps, but this is something I still struggle with. Perhaps I’ll tap on it! I never thought of that until now. Thank-you again.

  14. Heather says:

    Our words are so powerful and I often use them for weapons. My son reminded me of something hurtful that I had said to him years ago that I didn’t even remember. They cut through him like a knife and the scar remains today. I would do anything if I could take those ugly words back but I can’t. But what I can do is use my words to heal and be very careful to make space to be heard. Thank you Erin. I really needed to read this tonight.

  15. Amy says:

    beautiful blog!!!!
    It makes me think about a lot.
    Often I forget in that in conversation with others it’s how I say things too
    I agree it what I say and was it kind and how will they react
    Man do I have done work
    Thanks for making me recognize this
    Thanks for the motivation

  16. Mirella says:

    Thank you Erin – this is so true! At times I have been so concerned with being heard and dissipating ther discharge, after years of being nice and holding it in or waiting ‘to do it right’. Realising that listening and feeling into the space creates much more space for connection.

  17. Barbara says:

    This is so fabulous. I was just saying to myself (and others) that sometimes my words come hurdling out if my mouth. Yet I just had someone hurt my feelings by doing just that. I need to think before I let that happen, just like you said.

  18. shelly says:

    thank you for the reminder…this happened to me today in fact, when I lashed out at my 85 year old mother…I knew I had been triggered and told her as much but as I left her I immediately knew I owed her an apology and realized that I still needed to do my own inner work.

  19. Metta says:

    Read the same book and thought that was so touching of the older sister, and exactly something my older sister would have done for me if we had been in a similar situation.

    I’ve kept this email in my inbox for the past few days and re-read it as a gentle reminder. This came at exactly the right moment for me. Thank you!

  20. Angee says:

    These words are coming to me at the perfect time. In the past, I have been guilty of saying stuff that is definitely not healing, to say the least. I want to let that part of me go now, the part that doesn’t think before she speaks or let at least a part of it go. To move in a positive direction. Thank you for your post and for the inspiration to get moving and to really enjoy it!

  21. Kimberly Hanks says:

    I am currently recovering from an ongoing ankle injury so I have not begun your workouts yet. I wanted to take the time to tell you how much I enjoy your emails and uplifting information. You really help me often. I can not wait to recover and start a new journey working out as soon as I am able to.