Clear communication skills are a must for having a win-win conversation and getting what you want. We're not taught these skills so we usually learn how to communicate through trial and error with a lot of frustration. Today I'm sharing the 1st step in a conversation process that I've developed for getting what you want that I call G-Way Conversations.
It’s January 2014 and I’m in Mexico waiting for my latest flame to get off work. I’m staying in a small room with stucco walls and colorful tile, sweating from nerves and weak air conditioning.
I pace the small room, remembering the sex we had when we met, how hot our chemistry was. I imagined the fun we’d have over the next three days.
He knocks, I open, and my heart sinks. His face is a shut door, his body stiff. After flying all the way from New York with butterflies in my stomach, I feel like I’ve just been smacked by a two-by-four.
He spends the rest of our time together making sure I’m clear that we’re not going to have a relationship. We barely have sex. Each meal is a drawn-out class in grunt interpretation, because that’s about how much he talks to me. I keep trying to initiate topics of conversation and get nowhere. Eventually, I fall silent and count the hours until my flight home.
I land at home demoralized. I feel like a statistic: a grief-laden women in my mid-forties, post-divorce, looking for someone to love me, even though I feel like I’m past my prime with chronic pain in my hips that makes it hard to walk.
But there’s a reason he treated me that way and it’s not because he’s a dick. It’s because I don’t feel worthy to receive more than scraps of a man’s attention.
I get clear that I have work to do to release my guilt and grief over ending my marriage before I can possibly be ready to have a healthy relationship. And I dive into that work over the next couple of years.
One of the things I learn that turns my life around for the better is how to have more skillful conversations. How to be aligned with what I’m saying so that my communications are clear, effective, and no longer bogged down with all that unsaid, energetic crap.
Crap like all the guilt, shame, and unworthiness that I brought to my conversations, or attempted conversations with that guy. All the stuff that prevented me from being clear with him about what I wanted and hear clearly what he wanted.
Before you even open your mouth, be clear with yourself about what you actually want. Then get right with yourself about wanting that.
For example, if you want sex, say that. If you want a relationship, say that. But don’t say you’re cool with casual sex if you want a relationship. And don’t pretend you’re exploring a relationship when you really just want sex.
If you say one thing but you’re wanting something else, the other person can feel it, even if they seem about as energetically astute as that chair you’re sitting on. It doesn’t matter. They can feel the mismatch even if they can’t articulate what they’re feeling.
The mismatch has you come across as untrustworthy. They’ll sense a reason to pause and won't know why. That said, they may also blow past the thing they’re feeling from you because they’re too focused on their own agenda to slow down and try to figure it out.
My current partner used to call me out on this one all the time. If I was stressed out and pissed that the trash was over-full, and I’d ask, “Would you PLEASE take out the trash?,” he’d make me say it over again until my energy matched my communication.
Needless to say, his doing that often made me say my communication LOUDER AND WITH MORE EMPHASIS, but at least I was communicating how I really felt about how slow he was on taking it out, instead of trying to massage my way to an empty trash can by being fake-nice.
It helps to think of people as having feelers that pick up on the subtle energy behind what you’re saying. If your transmission is clear, it's received more accurately by their feelers. When your transmission and your words line up, you come across as trustworthy, which allows them to relax.
When you’re trustworthy because your energy matches your words, your relationships can deepen and have more intimacy and connection. If I’d been up front with that guy in Mexico about how sad and hungry I was for love, instead of pretending it was about the sex, I would have been clear before I bought the plane ticket that what I wanted wasn’t on the menu. I could have chosen to stay home and skipped putting myself through all that embarrassment.
That said, I’m glad I put myself through that experience because it made me decide to never do that again. I had to hit that emotional bottom to be ready to do the inner work that shifted how I show up in relationships so that I could become who I am today: a happy woman partnered with the love of my life.
I’ve created a 5-step conversation process that I call G-Way Conversations. G-Way stands for the Graceful Way. I’ve just shared the first step with you in this article, which is to get anchored in yourself and what you want before you speak.
To download my free guide that walks you through ALL FIVE STEPS of a G-Way Conversation, click here!
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Images of Marie-Elizabeth by In Her Image Photography