Have you had a situation lately, in which you found yourself struggling to understand someone’s behavior, or trouble understanding yourself and your own behavior?
I feel, Understanding, is a necessary, important “wisdom word” in any relationship, or connection of any kind. Why do we do the things we do? Why in relationships, do we treat a stranger with respect, and someone we are close to, with none at times? Or, speak with respect, and more importantly, listen with respect.
The key for to understand without judgement, someone else’s behavior, who’s point conflicts with yours, to truly understand their message, is first and foremost to be a good, active listener!! “Set the stage” for the conversation, and most importantly, whomever has the lack of understanding, should share their message, first. If, when hearing their message, you don’t understand what they are saying, at any given point, Paraphrasing, can be a very powerful tool. Not only will this keep you actively listening, it also shows you respect their message, even if, after hearing them through you do not agree. This is the crucial point in any relationship to understand without judgement. Now, it is your turn to share your message, and ask questions to further understand their behavior. Remember to communicate how you feel with “I” message such as, I think or I feel…. they will see your taking accountability for your feelings, and again conveys respect. They will “hear” your message, better.
Two top key elements in any relationship include good communication, and this first begins with how well we exercise “understanding without Judgement”. We should communicate. My point? Why would we listen to a loved one without respect, and perhaps a business associate with total respect?
Why do we do the things we do, or say things we don’t mean? This stems from our anger. Think about it. If you truly understood proper communication in all your relationships with no judgement and true empathy on your part, the other party would most likely respond differently, when disagreeing, resulting in less conflict. Why, in relationships, do we treat some people with respect, and others, none? We should all respect one another, but we don’t due to a lack of Understanding. When we bond with others, when they communicate, do they seem to think we are speaking a foreign language or you hear their message differently then what they were conveying?
Most of this can be solved by setting the stage properly, for serious conversations, giving them the floor to the one who has an important message to convey, speak first, then listening and paraphrasing back their message in similar words, formatted as a question, shows respect and understanding without judgement.
A lack of understanding in any situation can cost us some of the most important relationships in our lifetime. Are you in a situation, with a family member, or perhaps you know someone who makes the comment “I haven’t spoken to my sister/brother, mother, in years”! Their relationship situatiion, most likely started with a communication breakdown, with a lack of understanding for both parties behavior or point of view, or each have perhaps you both live a different lifestyle and communication, which is key, broke down, resulting in conflict and a lack of understanding without judgement. They did not exercise the fundamental rule when communicating. They didn’t set the stage for their conversations. We certainly ask permission at work to have a meeting, if we have an important message to convey, and we probably communicated our message, with “I” feel and I think sentences. Why, don’t we try this with loved ones, setting the stage for our important conversations, showing respect even when we don’t agree? We must exercise understanding without judgement.
Life is a mystery, and sometimes, we are in relationships, when we listen to someone, and we tell them “we don’t understand” what they are saying, after staging the conversation, speaking with “I” messages, when its your turn, and active listening took place, and your reading this today, and relating to it, because your in a relationship, and you have tried all you know how, to encourage them to communicate with you? We need to understand ourselves, we can only control our own behavior, and give them the space, their non-verbal communication is asking for. This is sad, but true. We then, do our best to understand without judgement.
It is not easy, to “understand without judgement“. Easier written than done. Any good relationship is successful, contingent on good communication, empathy to understand, and love, towards another and commitment, which can be very difficult if your angry.
Anger, in fact, results from a lack of proper communication, and lack of empathy, and yes, a lack of understanding from their point of view or yours, not empathizing or exercising active listening, engaging in their message. This too, can be difficult especially when we don’t agree with their point of veiw. Your verbiage in speaking is very important, and “I” messages count towards everything, but top of the list, active listening skills.
Think of a relationship just like a seed: We decide to plant a seed. (relationship) and plant it in the sun and give it water, (understanding and growth, empathy and relating), daily, it grows, (chemistry, love and attachment), and begins to bear fruit, (communicate and relating, spend time together), the plant, (relationship) grows and if all of these things happen, the plant grows tall and healthy into a full grown tree, (commitment and dedication). The understanding without judgement in a relationship, takes us from the seedling to the full grown tree.
I don’t expect any of us to memorize that, but use it to realize what it takes and how difficult it can be, to make a relationship work, and understanding without judgement, is the glue in all of this.
Understanding without judgement, and empathy, can be the key to finding a middle ground that both parties can compromise on in a floundering situation that feels hopeless.
Sometimes, a relationship in life was never meant be long term, and dies. This takes us to commitment. These relationships without judgement and empathy, and full love for the other including accepting a different point of view, and all of the flaws along with the inner beauty in one another, just doesn’t happen. However, we take what we learn, leave the bad behind, and grow from our mistakes and theirs, moving forward. These stepping stones lead us to the ability for full capacity in the relationship that is “our full grown tree”, and the love lasts for an eternity.
Too many people throw in the towel in relationships, too soon, (including myself in the past) and the sad thing? The lack of understanding without judgement both parties exercised, paid a steep price: the cost of the love, dying. However with relatives, I feel there is no choice, except in an abusive one, in which we can still love the other from a healthy distance if necessary.
Before ending any relationship, give it the time, attention, commitment and understanding without judgement, it deserves! Don’t give up on it too soon. If problems in communication and understanding continue to occur, perhaps its time to involve a third party, such as a counselor involved. Counselors, have worked miracles in relationships, and I believe that broken relationships of any kind start dying, when communication breaks down due to “a lack of understanding without judgement” from both parties.
Understanding our similarities and focusing on the positive aspects of a relationship when your committed to making it work, accepting imperfection and flaws, using empathy and understanding without judgement, and looking for similarities instead of differences. This, can only help in having a flourishing relationship of any kind. SL