If I told you there was one thing you could do that would skyrocket the quality of your relationships and create a deep sense of belonging, would you be willing to learn it? It’s an honest question because more and more research has come out showing just how important communication is to a successful relationship, and yet it’s often the last area we think to work on.
According to this New York Times article, even though marriage counseling is extremely popular and couples often resort to it when they are feeling the pull of divorce nearing the horizon, it actually doesn’t have the success you’d hope for. “25% of couples are worse off after two years than before they started.” Yikes!
Here’s the thing, both Dave and I can relate because we’ve both been divorced after trying marriage counseling. (And it’s one of the reasons we started our business). In all fairness, marriage counseling might have a better success rate if more people decided to be proactive about their relationships than reactive by starting before they’ve already reached a point of no return.
So this poses a valid question for those who are in the thick of rocky times in their relationships; is it even worth trying?
As an advocate of (good) relationships, my answer is a resounding yes. (but I think you should try to learn to communicate well first). Here’s why.
John Gottman, the go-to researcher on all things relationships, broke down the 4 habits of couples that predict divorce.
Here they are:
What’s interesting is that all of these are apparent in the way we communicate in our relationships. All these things are related to how we talk and respond to others, so communication has to be where we start.
And I’m going to be the first to tell you that most people suck at it, and as a consequence, live life lonely and disconnected. And that’s no way to live.
We all want connection, belonging, compassion, and empathy (even when we are so hardened we won’t admit it). And the only way to get the most out of life (in terms of happiness) is by learning how to communicate well with others.
Everything else in life isn’t even worth it if we can’t first have the quality of relationships we desire. But like anything else that is worthwhile, it takes practice and effort.
So start there.
If you want to experience more connection and belonging, don’t miss the conversation Dave and I had about why communication is the most important part of a relationship. We also highlight active listening as a good place to start, and you can find out more about that here!
Dive even deeper into the importance of communication by joining our webinar training!
But first, we’d love to hear from you!
In the comments section below, let us know what’s one thing you got from this conversation.