Communication is key to any a successful relationship and your tone plays a very important part. We became a couple however because of our work schedule she went to a popular gym in the area, very expensive but nice. The gym I attended was very intimate, small and inexpensive, so I recommended to her that maybe she should consider coming to my gym.
“It’s working for me,” she replied, somewhat taken aback.
As a Christian, I try to be honest and consistent in my behaviour with people, so I went on and on about it and to my surprise, she went silent and with a determined look, I just knew this conversation was over. It made no sense, she was selfish and I started evaluating if she was truly into the relationship, what was the point of trying to build a healthy relationship when one person refuses to talk.
We went to counselling for the first time and it was now my opportunity to raise the subject, I needed to have a conversation about the behaviour and it had to make sense. Our counsellor directed the question to her and she said, “I work very closely with people, I am a physiotherapist and when I get the chance away at any gym it is my time to recover”. This made all the sense in the world, so my question was why could she not have shared that with me?
Take away from the conversation:
“Sometimes it is not our knowledge on the subject, it’s our tone that communicates what we’re feeling when we say things. Our tone tells the truth even when our words don’t, even when we’re unaware of that truth ourselves. And it’s our tone to which others respond. We can even say “I love you” in a way that provokes bitterness and then innocently argue we’re being unfairly attacked when the person to whom we’ve said it quite rightly responds to our tone rather than our words.
Don’t be fooled by this kind of faux denial from others. What you think you hear in another person’s tone is almost always present. And if someone accuses you of an attitude or feeling you don’t think you have, unless they’re particularly thick or have some hidden agenda, what they have to say likely represents something you need to hear.” Alex Lickerman M.D.
We’re often unaware of tensions and attitudes brewing underneath the surface. When others respond to us negatively or in ways other than what we want or expect, rather than criticizing or attacking them, we might pause to reflect on how our tone (and therefore our underlying feelings of the moment) may have caused the reaction we received. For me, this is far easier said than done…
I would struggle with being hit on one cheek and then I am asked to turn the other, I struggled with loving my enemies, it was difficult enough loving my unreasonable neighbours, however, if you honestly want to make your relationships work then you have to pay attention.
I’ve had no opportunity to watch myself communicate and so the only thing I had to depend on is another person’s opinion of me, that was my family members and partner and so it is understood that my voice was too loud. In my head, I just wanted to get the point across.
Communicating in the right tone
It is true, that whenever we are challenged, if our theory is challenged, sometimes we try to affect the conversation with our tone, it is with our tone that we use to keep our kids in line, it is with our tone that we use to keep our subordinates in line, when we are upset it is with the tone that we use in getting the message across, not now… DON’T MESS WITH US!
If you haven’t ever watched yourself interact with others in your daily life on video when you weren’t focused on being filmed or even aware of it, I highly recommend it. It might be a painful experience when in counselling I was told that if someone doesn’t agree with me I refuse to listen, but if you’re willing, to be honest with yourself and recognize the truth of what you see –and more importantly the truth of what you hear–you can use it as a springboard for outstanding personal growth.
Yes, communication is key, and using the right tone is very important, it can decide the rise and fall of your relationship, now go and work on it and I hope you found this topic useful.