I have been single for the last 3 1/2 years. I recently started dating and PHEW the stories that I could tell you. Can anyone else who is single can relate? But what I am noticing is a pattern of men not being able to communicate. Now the same can be true for women but I only date men.
Throughout my career as a therapist, one of the hardest struggles that I have encountered is people having great difficulty with communicating in relationships whether romantically or with friendships. After unpacking this with each one of my patients it’s generally always the same answer that shows up. “If I tell people how I really feel they will dismiss me”, ” If I tell people how I really feel they will make me feel less than”, and `If I tell people how I really feel they will not accept what I say” and on and on it goes.
These statements often lead to them never telling the person how they feel and if we want to have open honest VULNERABLE relationships with people we have to be able to learn how to communicate. When we don’t communicate it leads to things like thinking we can read people’s minds, we call it mind reading in therapy. Mind reading is rooted in distorted thinking, It’s assuming what someone else is thinking without having much to go on. It also leads to misunderstandings, arguments, things getting lost in translation and one of the things i’ve seen in my childhood and in my own family dysfunction is people not speaking to the other person or ignoring them. Honestly, what does any of these do? These communication difficulties or breakdowns can be resolved when all we need to do is push past our fears and COMMUNICATE. After all, if we dont tell people how we feel or how they made us feel, how will anything ever get resolved or change?. Being human is about building connections and feeling safe and secure and we can’t do that without communicating.
By Katiuscia Gray, LCSW-R, CYT-500, is the owner of mind Meets movement counseling services, an integrated practice that focuses on holistic health.