Sunday, September 03, 2006

On intimacy and connection

I can't remember exactly where I read this, but it has stuck with me over the years: "Behavior needs to follow the internal connection, not the other way around."

I quote this because of a post over at dosmamas that made me think. The post ends with:
"How did this happen? How did we do such a freaky miscommunication? We both thought we were doing the other person a favor. We both thought we were protecting the other person. Have we gone mad?".

When we, in our relationships, begin to allow our behavior to set the feelings of intimacy and connection, we "miss" one another. When I think I'm doing Wendy a favor by not saying or doing something... or by doing something a certain way... I am allowing my behavior to make a statement about my internal connection (and the love I feel for her) instead of driving my behavior by my connection to her. It may seem hard to tell the difference at times, but it's really there. I think it actually gets harder to tell if behavior is driving connection or connection is driving behavior the longer you're in a relationship. We get to know each other so well that we just assume (and you remember what assume stands for right? - make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me') we know what the other person is thinking, what they want, what they like, etc. And... many times we are right! But, when we're wrong, we have missed each other. We have miscommunication. We feel disconnected. We feel unheard. And all because we thought we were acting lovingly toward our partner.

It's a bit scary to think about and it's a thought that I really work to keep in play in my relationship with Wendy. I don't want to have communication misses with her if I can help it and thinking about letting my connection to her drive my behavior, instead of the other way around, I typically find that we don't miss each other.

So... to the ladies over at dosmamas, I'll say this in answer to your question of "How did this happen?": it happened because you love each other and because you maybe assumed you knew something the other wanted or desired and were simply trying to give that to each other.

It happens to us all every day! We must decided how we wish to be with our loved ones and decide that we can say what we are thinking about (even when we think our partner knows), ask what the other wants (even when we think we know what they want) and check out our actions (event when we think a certain action is wanted or expected). Communication can be a tricky business and a scary business when you say or do something you think may cause your partner to pause. But, in the end, I think our communications and our relationships are enriched when we simply let our connections drive our behaviors and not the other way around.

- Karen


No comments: