The key to any relationship is communication. And I’ve always thought that communication is like a dance. One person takes a step forward, the other takes a step back. Even a single misstep can land both people on the floor in a tangle of confusion. And when you find yourself in that position—with your spouse, your colleague, your friend, your child—I’ve found that the best option is to always ask the other person, “What do you really want here?” At first, you might notice a little squirming, a lot of throat clearing, maybe some silence. But if you stay quiet long enough to get the real answer, I guarantee it will be some variation of the following: “I want to know that you value me.” Extend a hand of connection and understanding, and offer three of the most important words any of us can ever receive: “I hear you.” I know for sure your relationship will be the better for it.
Photo via Birdasaurus