Internal Communication Network Series pt.3
By Megan Wyatt
“Why can’t you ever remember to do the things I ask you? All I wanted was for you to pick up a few things from the grocery store on your way home from work. How hard can that be? You remember meetings and phone calls, or emails you have to reply to day and night for your company, but when it comes to something I ask you, you always forget. I’m sick and tired of doing everything around here and you never helping out at all!” said Iman as her husband Farhan walked in the door empty handed from work.
“Ok OK…I will go and get the things now. “ he replied looking a bit stunned at her state of anger and frustration.
“That’s not the point! I don’t want you to go and get things now! Just forget it!!” And with that Iman stormed upstairs, and slammed her bedroom door, sobbing on the way.
“Fine….FINE!” Farhan screamed back at her, as he proceeded to throw down his briefcase, and head to the living room to turn on the T.V. Their children looked up silently from a puzzle they had been doing on the floor, and knowing not to speak, they glanced at each other, and proceeded to work so that they didn’t get yelled for something too.
Many couples argue weekly, if not daily, over things that, while minor, are emotionally charged.
This could be your marriage, someone you know, or even the state of other relationships you have with your family members close to you. What is great about this problem is that it has a solution. What may have seemed like a never ending slew of arguments and fighting can and will come to an end when you discover the true message behind the emotions being played out.
Part of understanding how your Internal Communication Network functions is to realize over and over again that your emotions are transmitting a very specific message to you. Most people are so wrapped up in the emotion, they aren’t able to quiet down and understand what is really going on inside.
Why is this so important? Because if you can’t understand what you really need beneath all the surface issues and feelings, then you will continue to use “surface” problems as a way to express what you most desperately want. The problem with this, of course, is that you are transmitting another message to your partner instead of the one your own emotions were transmitting to you. Talk about a communication break down!! No wonder it is so hard for people to get out of fighting!
Let’s look at the example of Iman and Farhan at the beginning. Both of them decided to work with a coach to figure out how to solve their fighting and constant disagreements. Home life was becoming unbearable, and as a result, tension seemed to increase as the week went by. By the weekend, they would have a huge fight, make up on Sunday, and things would start all over again.
What was going on?
Their coach had them each replay this argument in their minds, and asked them to consider what the real message was that each of them was feeling inside. It took a few minutes of questioning and digging, but after 22 minutes to the dot, the truth came out.
Iman’s internal message was that she didn’t feel appreciated or special. All of her complaining and arguing was a desperate attempt to be comforted and validated for how much work she put in running their home. Every time her husband forgot something, she chose to translate that to mean he didn’t care about her as much as work. She imagined that if she were special and truly valuable, she would be at the top of his list each day, and never miss a beat with her. More specifically, she missed the moments where he couldn’t wait to talk to her or see her, and when she felt that, nothing else mattered.
Farhan’s internal message was that he didn’t feel appreciated or significant. Yup! Pretty much the same thing as Iman. After working so hard all day, he felt exhausted leaving the office. His mind felt drained, but on his ride home he cheered up looking forward to an evening with his wife and children. When he saw her angry at him, he felt completely disrespected and totally underappreciated for all the hard work he put in day in and day put to provide for his family. He missed the moments where he could walk in the door, see his wife’s smile, and then be willing to catch the moon for her if she asked.
The challenge they were given, after learning how to tune in to the message behind the emotions, was to spend the next two weeks aiming to share their real wants and needs instead of the scapegoat comments they usually threw between one and other.
The result was a 180 degree change. It took both of them being willing to let their ego and pride fall away, and as a result, their communication not only improved, but the smile on Iman’s lips returned, and the softness in Farhan’s eyes came back. Feelings of love, respect, and appreciation flowed.
Don’t forget to note the effect all of this will have on their children too.
If a person doesn’t take the time to learn more about themselves, and what is going on internally, then they may be setting themselves up for many disappointments down the road.
Here are three things you can do to utilize your Internal Communication Network!
1) Make a daily commitment to let go of false pride and be vulnerable. In vulnerability there is true strength, so express your real needs and wants instead of hurting someone else and hoping they “magically” figure out what you really need.
2) Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. Give yourself the time to digest a feeling until you understand it. The payoff will save LOTS of time in the end.
3) Accept. There are no bad feelings or emotions, only bad actions. Do not resist your own needs or wants, nor of your spouse’s no matter how “illogical” it sounds. When you let go of resistance, you allow yourself to truly articulate the real message in your emotions.
Ever since starting coaching with Megan, alhamdulilah, my life has been transformed. Through her patience, expertise and wisdom, she has helped me uncover and then deal with long-standing destructive beliefs about myself – beliefs which have only held me back. She has taught me crucial life skills and new, healthy ways to view myself and my challenges. I have now learned to forgive myself and am now moving on to greater heights. Coaching is an absolute must for every single person who wants to heal from past hurts. I thank Allah for sending Megan to me. InshaAllah she will continue to become a catalyst for others! – Raidah Shah, Australia