My partner and I decided to have a look at our friendship within our relationship. We wanted to look at why we react when something comes up for the other person. In that process we came across a short interview with Annette Baker and Gabrielle Caplice called: How do you have communication without reaction?
In that short 90 second video with Annette and Gabrielle, although the words spoken are very powerful, it is the energy between them, the way they look at each other, and the interest Gabrielle had in what Annette was saying that was far beyond the words.
The unwavering capture of Gabrielle wanting to hear every word that was said by Annette, nodding in such agreement and delight, got us wondering – do we have that delight and appreciation for each other in our relationship?
Are we that interested in each other, or do our conversations revolve around what is in it for us, what our hurts are, what point we are trying to make and making sure we make it?
The initial conversation between my partner and I was hard to face and it almost felt like a breakup talk – like how can you not be interested in your partner?
We knew though that this wasn’t the answer so we set ourselves on a program for 9 days to find out – to be interested in each other, to stop trying to make the other person be a certain way, and to actually hear what the other person is saying and care about what it is they are feeling.
Those 9 days were at times confronting when we realised that a lot of the time we were indeed just in it for ourselves, trying to make the other person see our way, or totally fobbing off what they had just said in favour of the way we saw it.
We started to open up more and more, being very interested in each other, supporting each other in whatever was being shared and not bringing our own stuff into it. We are now noticing each other more and offering support in different ways than we usually did. This has brought us so much closer.
I have noticed it is also having a domino effect on other relationships in my life. I can’t help but bring a greater interest to everybody I meet in my day now, and it is changing how others are towards me.
People who would frequently just tell me what to do are now including me in decisions and acknowledging me. All because I became more interested in them and they could feel that – I’m not just there thinking about myself. This has allowed the space for us to connect.
I am totally inspired by Gabrielle and Annette and the love and friendship they have and share with us all. I know my partner and I have this too, and I have been shown that we can actually have this with everyone, just by stepping back a bit and not going at life with an agenda.
Published with permission of my partner.
By Natalie Misztal, Reception/Administration, Cleaner, Gardener, Melbourne, Australia