Relationship Advice for Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

We agree with Dr. Phil on this one…In the June 2008 issue of the “Oprah Magazine,” Dr. Phil answers a woman’s question about how to deal with her sister who makes comments that are objectionable to her. The last time this woman talked with her sister, she was so angry with her that she hung up on her.Dr. Phil tells her to restart the conversation between them by apologizing for hanging up on her. The only way to possibly influence her sister one day is to keep the lines of communication rather than do things to close them.

And we completely agree!

Keeping the dialog open is the only way we’ve found to move toward understanding and deeper connection when there’s conflict between two people.

It’s so easy to say but not always easy to do.

But the minute you stop the dialog by withdrawing, getting angry, lashing out at the other person, or walking out, you end all possibility of reconnecting with that person unless one of you says or does something to open it back up.

While it’s never possible to completely understand someone else’s words, actions and motivations (because we don’t look out at the world in the same way), it is possible to understand enough to keep your connection, love, friendship, intimacy or closeness.

Even if you can’t agree with him or her, you can accept and understand that this person is not you and may have completely different internal guidance about whatever it is that has created the conflict between the two of you.

Take Otto and his 19 year old son…

Otto disagrees with his son’s plans for summer work. After worrying that his son was making a big mistake, Otto realized a few things. He realized that he wasn’t
going to change his son’s mind because Otto had already told him what he would do in the same situation.

Otto also realized that it might not even be his job to change his son’s mind. Just because Otto thinks he has the answer for the direction of his son’s life, Otto could be wrong. His son needed to follow his own
internal guidance instead of Otto’s.

When Otto asked himself what he wanted most with his son, the answer was to have a great relationship and to connect with him.

So, instead of holding on to hammering his viewpoint on this particular topic, Otto chose to try to understand why his son was making the choices that he was making.

He decided to keep their connection strong and their communication open.

Since we’ve been talking a lot about our new program “Stop Talking on Eggshells,” you might be thinking that Otto is “talking on eggshells” with his son.

In our opinion, he isn’t and here’s why…

Otto told his son about what he thought he should do about this particular decision. Otto also realized that he needed to try to understand why his son was making the choices he was making and that his son might be right.

Otto didn’t agree with his son but also keep the dialog open between them by changing his thinking and letting go of having to be right, allowing room for the connection between them to stay alive and well.

If Otto talked on eggshells with his son, he might withdraw from him or be fearful of saying what he thought about his son’s choices.

He didn’t do those things. He kept connection with his son foremost in his heart and his mind.

So, does the dialog stop with anyone in your life over certain topics or situations?

If so and if this relationship is important to you, what ways might you be true to yourself and also reopen the conversation and reconnect with this person?

Connection, love, understanding and intimacy don’t happen by accident. They all happen because we are open to it and we do things that will create them.

Take time today to deepen connections with the important people in your life and allow yourself to open to continuing the dialog with as much love as possible.

Susie and Otto Collins are speakers, relationship coaches, and authors of many books and courses including Stop Talking on Eggshells, No More Jealousy and How to Heal Your Broken Heart.


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