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About Communication


A Swiss woman settles in India –7

By Simone Toni Weibel

This week I’m thinking a lot about communication within relationships, be it between friends or partners. I guess, in the end it concerns communication between people in general but the thoughts arose from a situation between my non-communicative partner and me. Non-communicative only when it comes to personal topics, I have to mention. I have experienced that men often have resistance to talk about their problems or, even worse, feelings, while woman have a deep urge to do so.

If you listen to partnership coaches, they would always point out the importance of talking to each other. Misunderstandings arise and unfulfilled expectations end in disappointment. And that is where my thoughts begin; with expectations.

Why do we have expectations and what are they causing to us? We have a certain concept of how to live life the “right way”. This concept has been shaped over a lifetime by culture, parents, education and experience. The idea of right and wrong can vary from person to person, but within a culture there is an overriding common denominator regarding good or bad. This still doesn’t mean that the definition for right and wrong is given because of the majority opinion. I have come to the insight that, if you act out of deep love, you can’t do wrong, but ego-related desires and views should not interfere. Also, I must assume that the opposite carries a different truth, which can also be as true as mine.

Let’s have a look at a specific situation; the partner does something that does not fall into my concept of appropriate behaviour in a relationship. In this case, however, the partner has a different concept that seems right to him. I express my discomfort or lack of understanding, but do not receive an answer, there is no clarifying discussion. The partner tries to avoid the conversation and I get frustrated. I have the deep belief that communication is half of the relationship. But now I am confronted with this situation and I am convinced that life always gives us food to learn, so I deal with it.

My reflections lead me to the following thoughts:  If I can be very free in my own behaviour, while acting out of love and from the best of my knowledge and conscience and caring, a good amount of self-respect and self-love, and my partner is on the same page with me about resolving his own vulnerabilities and insecurities, himself, then there might be very little left to discuss. Because, actually, it is always about our hurt ego and unfulfilled ideas. We get insecure, we fear to be less or not enough loved or abandoned and it is all about our ego. I am obviously talking about relationships, which are basically healthy, in the sense of a non-violent non-abusive but loving situation, with self-reflective partners. In that case, one must feel more deliberated from ego.

Not having expectations and acting out of love are important keys. Nor to think that you know what is right or wrong. One person’s wrong is another person’s right, and that does not make it any righter. Of course, there are still topics to talk about and I still think that sharing thoughts and wishes or ideas about life can create a bond and simplify relationships, but if you can build that up on a free self-reflective being, the outcome will be even better, because ego won’t interfere.

Besides all that thinking, I made my first furniture for my flat. It’s a teak wood table and I love the odour it spreads in my living room. I also painted for the first time since I’m here, as I had an urgent request from Switzerland. I never had such a nice studio in my whole lifetime.

(Simone Toni Weibel (47) is an independent artist, teacher and writer from Switzerland who has settled down in Dehradun)