In my book 6 Keys To Happiness I write about something I call The Art Of Confession and I want to talk about how important this is in this week’s blog.
So many women that I know have difficulty sharing their innermost feelings and asking for what they need and many more feel that they are constantly being let down and disappointed by the people in their lives when they do take a chance and reach out.
This leaves many feeling disappointed, overwhelmed, isolated and sometimes angry because they don’t often ask for help and many feel the spend a lot of their time helping others so how come no one is helping them when they really need it.
Does this sound like a familiar tune?
It is my intention to restore hope to those who struggle with this so that they can enjoy better connections, feel more supported, more loved and more successful in their relationships, and feel that their relationships are not so one sided, or that everyone in their lives seems to benefit but them.
I want to share what I call The Art Of Confession and it is simply defined as knowing who to say what to and when.
Having grown up in a co-dependent household and being the fast learner that I am, my interactions with others were set up for failure simply because it is normal for co-dependents to be passive aggressive in their communication with others. That means an inability to be direct, particularly when it comes to expressing feelings and asking for help which then leads to dissatisfaction with results and a build up of resentment that will never be directly dealt with. It’s exhausting.
It was directly as a result of my own growth and my need to communicate differently that I started observing how others communicated and I could see clearly how others were doomed to failure because of their dysfunctional approach to communicating and especially around issues that they felt very strongly about. Situations would then became potentially explosive and very messy.
I worked out that in any interaction we choose to engage in we are all seeking something – validation, advice, closeness, help, approval, friendship, to name a few things – and that if we wanted to be successful in our communication, we needed to be conscious of what it was we wanted before we decided who we were going to approach and connect with around that.
I also observed that even when you become conscious of what you want and determine who the best person is to reach out to, you also need to be aware of timing because everyone has stuff going on and it isn’t always the right time to reach out and connect with your someone, so that became the third factor of consideration for my formula.
In short there are three steps you need to take:
1 Identify what you want or need
This can be particularly difficult for co-dependents or for anyone who isn’t used to giving themselves permission to be honest with themselves but if you want to be happy and be successful in your communication then this is a great starting point.
2 Identify the best person to give you what you want
This is where we need to be smart. If you have ever read The Richest Man In Babylon you will know the story of the man who gave his money to a butcher to buy him some diamonds and it didn’t work out so well. The moral of the story was to ask the right people for what you want and not expect a butcher to be an expert on investing in diamonds. Of course, the right person for that would be a jeweller.
If you think of this in terms of love, know that just because you want a particular someone to give you the love you want doesn’t mean they will, so be realistic when you consider this, and be open to new possibilities.
3 Choose your timing when you seek what you want
This is another area where being smart can change your outcome. If the person you have determined as being the best person to meet your need is busy with something or someone else, he or she is not as open to helping you with your request as you might like. Sometimes scheduling time or specifically creating an opportunity is what you need to do in order to have the attention you want from the right person. Simply think about what their needs might be and how you can help them to help you.
Asking your partner to have a serious conversation with you about the future when he has just arrived home late and wobbly from the pub might not turn out as successfully as you might like so it isn’t the right time. You just have to think about it a little bit to get this right.
So there you go. You now know The Art of Confession and you have a formula for successful communication that will see your needs successfully met more regularly than you might be experiencing right now. I know you are going to be a whole lot happier when you start using it.
Ciao for now.
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