I think one of my biggest overall frustrations with communication in general is that it does not behave like a cookie cutter. I can’t just press my method of communication on someone else and have them conform to it instantly. Communication is more like piping frosting. It is delicate, malleable and starts as a big blob that need to adjust to the people who are utilizing it as a tool. If you press on it too hard, it can smear or crumble.
I feel very positive about the communication I employ with my partner. We touch base with one another frequently and do check-ins. We try to stay aware of any issues or concerns the other may have, and do our best to resolve them before those concerns become overwhelming problems which can breed resentment. The way we communicate works well for us. We are extremely close and the only secrets we keep from one another involve birthday and Christmas presents.
Unfortunately, no matter how amazing I feel my communication is with him, that doesn’t necessarily translate into having good communication skills when dealing with other people. Because different people communicate differently, using phrases like proper communication or communicating right are often meaningless. What is natural within my relationship with one person may fit with another person as poorly as any one-size-fits-all garment fits, well, anyone who tries to wear it.
Building and shaping how we communicate with each person who becomes part of our lives is a process. We begin with sharing incidental things. We talk about frustrations with work or how someone cut us off in traffic. We share funny stories and begin to open up about goals and dreams. Once we trust that the other person values and respects what we have shared, we can move on to deeper things, such as sharing past traumas or fears, or answering less superficially when they ask how we are.
The hardest thing to trust another person with can be current negative feelings or emotions which include them. If we feel a concern or negative emotion peripherally relates to our partner or our relationship, it can be difficult to feel as though we can express those feelings without receiving deflection, defensiveness and derision in return. Many of us have been programmed to expect the worst response from partners when we are honest with them, and that takes a lot to overcome. Once we have reached a point where we begin to trust them with those things, it becomes easier every time.
It can be equally difficult if two people reach that point of trust at different times. One of the greatest challenges I have experienced in polyamory has been being at a point where I trusted another person with those things yet not had that trust reciprocated. Unequal sharing can lead to imbalance in a relationship, and destroy the higher level of trust one person has to share, making advancement difficult. No one wants to feel as though they are giving and being shut out in return.
Each relationship is, by necessity, completely different from each other one. Learning to balance individual needs and attain communication styles which make each person comfortable takes time and patience. In the end, all we can each do is our best.
About the Author
Christmas bunny has been exploring kink since she was legal to do so. Her serious writing started in college, where she accidently got some of her papers published in educational journals. She has recently expanded her writing to include her kink journey. She began writing in the physical realm, but shed some of her inhibitions and began sharing those entries with others. She now keeps an active blog of her personal growth and her relationship with her Master / Daddy Dominant and writes helpful educational posts on a variety of subjects.