In my research, I’ve studied many different approaches to the most effective communication, from the more business end of things with the classic Getting to Yes, to more mainstream mediation techniques, to some psychological (DBT), philosophical (Hegelian dialectic), technological (NLP), and spiritual (Byon Katie’s inquiry process and a bit of Buddhism, too) versions of “looking at reality from different perspectives” to better understand the duality/complexity of the truth. And I’ve looked into some enthusiastic pop culture amalgams of approaches including Marshal Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, John Gottman’s and Julie Schwartz’s Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, and at least one exceptionally charismatic “Pick-Up Artist” guy who’s name I totally can’t remember (but I could probably find out if anyone really cared).
And through all of these diverse approaches, the single most consistent thing about The Most Effective and Compassionate Communication that I’ve learned is: Speak the highest, most valuable truth that are your most joyful intentions for what you want to be able to do.
As I’ve mentioned before, your internal dreams for your own most ideal self are a rare gift that people absolutely need to understand and support you the best they possibly can. Not only are your expressions of your ideals for who you want to be going to most likely be well respected – because they are indeed pure expressions of your core humanity, which all humans inherently share and understand, at least on a subconscious level – but also your expressions of your ideal future self fill up the garden that is other people’s vision of your life which might otherwise get filled with harmful and ineffective toxic stuff that is made up of complaints, threats, demands, and unrealistic expectations about others. These toxic things only push people away and make you look like an unreasonable, sick, dangerous person, and kill all the life that might be trying to grow in the metaphorical garden that you are creating in the world.
Too much of the more mainstream and common approaches to communication and relationships gets mired in these unhealthy, toxic, enabling ideas of “boundaries”, “rules”, and “punishments”, which is all so unfortunate, as these negatives do make people more stressed and defensive and get in the way of people being able to give others the gift of their highest self – their most spectacular garden. Even though the original motives for doing so might be good and peace loving, trying to change others though negative, aggressive, violent, forceful approaches is what has been proven time and time again to always backfire in the long run. Putting up defensive walls around the self’s garden, walls made up of expectations and demands and attachments to the idea of “no trespassing”, or entering the garden only with lordly “permission”, only sets everyone up for failure, due to the reality of complexity and chaos and flow in life, and of the absolute need for the pollination and pruning and fertilizing that comes from the sometimes challenging and unpleasant events such as hungry beetles and bunnies and bears, high winds, torrential downpours, scorching sun, and even occasional fires, that allow the garden to flourish so magnificently over time.
Obviously, the negative internal truths that are the fear-based stuff of what one does NOT want does sometimes have to be expressed in order to clear out the previously mucked up space, to make room for the healthy stuff. Sometimes we do need to forcefully remove a small part of the self’s garden that has been entirely destructive and sick – a plant that is totally infested with insects, for example – or just generally getting in the way like so many rocks. But this is inherently different from trying to change other people, though – you don’t need to kill the insects or try to force them to eat something else that they are not designed to eat, instead, simply move them away from the garden itself, alive and intact, by removing the whole plant they are attached to – the rocks and bugs aren’t inherently “bad”, they are just better suited to being somewhere else. Effective detoxification is an internal clarification of the opposite of the self’s needs, based on evidence of what previously seems to have gotten in the way of the self being able to accomplish what it most wants to be. So there does indeed need to be a venue for us saying things like “I’m frustrated because I wanted to do X, but someone doing Y got in my way, so I think I might want to stay away from anyone doing Y in the future when I want to do X” in a welcoming, and appreciative, and understanding way. We all need a reasonable place, well away from our garden spaces, to compost any shit that is too intense and challenging for our own internal healthy growth. But detoxification is only the beginning of healing, as healing also requires the true nourishment that is your growing awareness of the highest truth of your potential, ideal self as a unique form of beautiful, joyful, creative, and compassionate energy moving through the universe. More than anything else, to grow the most beautiful garden, we need to have a reasonably clear vision of what kind of garden we most want to grow, and share that vision with everyone who expresses an interest in helping us.
Aaannnnnnd… what I have learned about how one gets to a point where one naturally, unconsciously, and automatically expresses one’s highest ideals of who one wants to be in the future, is for one to focus on giving themselves the highest quality nutritious food, cleanest water, freshest air, most loving warmth (including touch), most invigorating sunlight, and most welcoming freedom to express all of one’s excess solids, liquids, gases, and energy (including all physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual expressions). One can certainly consciously make an effort to express one’s vision of one’s most gorgeous garden of the self, and one also needs to take excellent care of the gardener, so that the garden will indeed be nurtured into the most joyful and thriving gift to the whole world with the most effortlessness, instinctive energy.
Seriously, the base of all our higher abilities for being awesome humans rests securely in the physical input and output needs for our body – the gardener – so that the vision of the garden can be clear, and the process of gardening can happen with the most grace and fluidity and strength.