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Communication: The Basis of Understanding and Empathy

David De Dau photo
David De Dau

If there is emotional tension between a couples, or if there is internal fear and anxiety about sexual perfor- mance, then the nervous system cannot switch into the parasympathetic mode required for sexual arousal. The solution in this situation is better and more open communication between the couple, to let each other know how they are feeling and to have a mutual acceptance of the other without blame or recrimination. After all, that is what a loving relationship is about, and sex as an expression of love is far more exciting. As men get older,

The basis of communication in a re- lationship between two persons or more is these factors, which work together: Communication + Under- standing + Empathy. If you commu- nicate well to another, you obtain

good understanding and empathy in the oth- er person for yourself and your message. If you comprehend clearly, and have empathy for the other’s viewpoint, then you are listening well and are in good communication. If you use empathy in your communications, you will obtain bet- ter mutual understanding. So if you make one of these factors better, the other two improve too. Communication, Understanding and Empathy add up to Duplication. That is, a sharing of reality - the picture or map of the other has been duplicated - received exactly as it was sent. Communication is a flow of energy that reaches and withdraws be- tween two or more people, as they share their in- dividual viewpoints and agree upon a shared reality. The source of this flow of energy is the origina- tor of the communication; it reaches out to the receiver and then withdraws, as the receiver then responds with his or her own communication. The quality of the communication is demon- strated by the understanding and em- pathy obtained between the parties. Empathy does not depend on liking what another has to say, nor agreeing with it; instead it is an accept- ance of the other person’s viewpoint. Commonly,

if a person disagrees with another’s opinion, or dislikes their views or behavior, then a break- down in the relationship will occur, an upset and maybe a parting of ways; at the least a sense of frustration may occur. But none of this is nec- essary if you adopt a more spiritual viewpoint, that of empathy with the other, in which you are tolerant of the other person’s views and can understand them - even if you do not much like nor agree with them, nor wish to share them. The essence of relationships is communication; and yet, even between people who care deeply for each other, communication sometimes becomes blocked. In the enthusiasm of the initial courtship, a person who generally has a poor ability to lis- ten may be motivated to change this in order to attract the partner, but later on returns to his or her habitual ways. So at the start of a relation- ship it may not be recognized that important communication skills, such as the willingness and ability to ask appropriate questions and to listen effectively, are not part of the person’s normal behavior. Eventually, there will be a price to pay.

A satisfying relationship with another person re-

A satisfying relationship with another per- son requires good communication, mutual understanding and empathy. If there is a significant drop in one of these factors, e.g. we disagree and have an argument, and then an upset ensues. An upset occurs when there is a sudden departure from what is wanted or expected. Such upsets inevitably have emotional consequences: ranging from less enthusiasm, through bore- dom and hostility, to fear and eventually to apathy. So the effect of upsets is cumula- tive; a small upset may be easily forgotten but many such instances, or a particularly painful experience, will likely never be forgiven - unless the upset is resolved in the present time by new and effective two-way communication. Misunderstandings between people are very often due to poor communication skills. When a couple is unable to effective- ly discuss their feelings and ideas together, their relationship may eventually break down. Issues such as financial arrange- ments, family visits, pressures at work and contribution to home maintenance are common ‘hot spots’ in which failure to disclose feelings, or when those feelings are not genuinely listened to and understood, can lead to tension or serious upsets. Per- haps the ‘hottest’ issue is sexual response, since sex is such an integral aspect of a loving relationship.
For the body-mind’s natural sexual re- sponse to function correctly, a relaxed state is necessary. If there is emotional tension between a couples, or if there is internal fear and anxiety about sexual per- formance, then the nervous system cannot switch into the parasympathetic mode required for sexual arousal. The solution in this situation is better and more open communication between the couple, to let each other know how they are feeling and to have a mutual acceptance of the other without blame or recrimination.

quires good communication, mutual understand- ing and empathy. If there is a significant drop in one of these factors, e.g. we disagree and have an argument, and then an upset ensues. An upset occurs when there is a sudden departure from

what is wanted or expected. Such upsets inevi- tably have emotional consequences: ranging from less enthusiasm, through boredom and hostility, to fear and eventually to apathy. So the effect of up- sets is cumulative; a small upset may be easily for- gotten but many such instances, or a particularly painful experience, will likely never be forgiven - unless the upset is resolved in the present time by new and effective two-way communication. Misunderstandings between people are very often due to poor communication skills. When a couple is unable to effectively discuss their feelings and ideas together, their relationship may eventually break down. Issues such as financial arrangements, family visits, pressures at work and contribution to home maintenance are common ‘hot spots’ in which failure to disclose feelings, or when those feelings are not genuinely listened to and under- stood, can lead to tension or serious upsets. Per- haps the ‘hottest’ issue is sexual response, since sex is such an integral aspect of a loving relationship. For the body-mind’s natural sexual response to function correctly, a relaxed state is necessary.

If there is emotional tension between a cou- ples, or if there is internal fear and anx- iety about sexual performance, then the nervous system cannot switch into the para- sympathetic mode required for sexual arousal. The solution in this situation is better and more open communication between the cou- ple, to let each other know how they are feel- ing and to have a mutual acceptance of the oth- er without blame or recrimination. After all, that is what a loving relationship is about, and sex as an expression of love is far more exciting. Another factor is that many men have little clue about their partner’s sexual response. This isn’t taught in schools nor seen in the movies. Women can become resentful and eventually give up on the matter of receiving sexual pleasure. Sex becomes a cold ritual or is abandoned completely, as the man who doesn’t understand is simply not in proper communication with his partner on this issue. As men get older, often the ability to respond sexu- ally is no longer like it was in the teenage years. The man may feel guilty and anxious about his sexual performance, and even avoid sexual relations as a consequence. To help overcome this barrier, many have turned to Viagra supplements to boost their arousal. But these are expensive and unnatural pharmaceuticals. I would recommend primarily be- ginning to develop more intimate communication within the couple. This in itself can be a “turn on.” 

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