Here is some relationship advice that offers you the first step toward building, saving or maintaining happy, healthy personal connections. Any relationship is on the way to being saved, if you clue into the “I need” versus the “I am grateful statement behind everyone’s words. Read on to see how.

One of the main reasons for relationship break-up is due to poor communication skills. We think because we are forming words and talking that we are getting our meaning across to the other person. But this is hardly the case. So many things go into communication, such as tone of voice, intonation, body language and of course the choice of words we use. In this article we are going to introduce a simple first step for you to get past the words that someone uses and learn how to interpret what people are really saying. By working on your ability to hear what other people say in ways that are more enjoyable and more accurate you can begin to produce more of results that you want in your Relationship!

Does that sound like something you’d like?

Behind all the words used, it simply boils down to whether someone is saying “I need something” or “I am grateful for something.” It takes a little practice but if you focus on the intention behind the words, and not the words themselves you would be surprised how quickly you can use your detective skills and come up with the other person’s true meaning. And if you approach it like a little mystery game, you will find that you are rarely triggered by the words used, or the body language stance taken.

Let’s Practice! Hearing “I need” or “I am grateful”

Sometimes it’s easy to tell which is which: “Would you stop at the store on the way home?” A clear statement of “I need.” or “That was wonderful meal!” Is a simple announcement of “I’m grateful.”

But the mystery work comes in when mixed with the words used we hear someone blaming, criticizing, or excuse making, using statements like:

* “Jerk where did you learn to drive!”
* “Why are you spending time on that, it’s just a waste?”
* “You never keep your promises!”
* “It’s not my fault that …”
* “I forgot to …”

All of the above statements really cover an underlying need on the part of the speaker. A statement such as “You never keep your promises,” could possibly hide a need for trust in relationships.

The sad thing is, it seems the more important, urgent, or critical the need is, the more likely people will express it with words of blame and judgment. These words often are triggers for the listener. The result is a communication breakdown and a step toward relationship break up.

Most reality TV shows are a great place to watch this in action and to practice identifying which times people are saying “I need” and which times they are saying “I’m grateful.” Whether you use a reality TV show, or your personal relationships for practice, notice how the more hurt and more angry a person is, the more likely they are to express “I need” in the form of blame, criticism, judgment, excuses, etc. Kind of sad isn’t it?

Saving Your Relationships ONE NEED at a time

If you can keep yourself in a mode of curiosity about what a person is really trying to communicate, then chances are conversations will become more enjoyable, more accurate, and produce results that both participants want.

The big thing to remember is that any form of blame, criticism, judgment, or excuse is the other person expressing a need. And that the more hurt or angry a person sounds the more desperate they are for help, and scared that the need won’t be met.

If you’re able to hear a person desperately wanting help with their need, you will be much less likely not to be hurt by the words used and much more likely to find the compassion to hear their need and to offer help.

You might even find that understanding another person’s underlying need is a gift that will bring you great joy. And in the course of all that joy you are giving, you will have saved your relationship merely by hearing “I need” and “I’m grateful!”

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