For me, good communication is about stripping away the layers of complexity that interfere with our ability to achieve mutual understanding. It’s like having an artichoke whose leaves are prickly and sharp to the touch. Once we start to peel away the thistles, we discover the heart of the plant in the center.
We’ve all had relationships like that at some point in our lives: people that challenge and frustrate our ability to connect with them. But if we take the time to invest in the relationship, we can peel away the layers of fear, mistrust and anger and discover what’s inside the other person’s heart.
But what if the other person doesn’t want to talk to you?
A father in one of my workshops shared how painful it had been for him to lose touch with his son after a bitter divorce. His phone calls and letters went unanswered, but he never stopped trying to stay in touch. On the day of his eighteenth birthday, his son picked up the phone and called him. Would he have made the call if the father had given up on their relationship early on? Perhaps, but the father could rest assured, knowing that he had made every effort to stay connected.
Not every relationship can be saved, but only you know how much other person matters to you and what you’re willing to do to keep the lines of communication open.