Five Rings Relationship Tools—Communicate From Your Whole Heart
Offering Tools for Lasting and Positive Change in Personal, Professional and Romantic Relationships…
What the Self Help Books and Relationship Experts DON’T tell you!
Have you ever read one of those self help relationship books when you were desperate for some help (or not even that desperate) with your partner  or some other person in your life, friend, co-worker, child family member.  You know, the ones, those really important relationships in your life that you can’t really just walk away from? I’ve read so many I can’t even count.  I tried all the exercises, went to the workshops, and listened to the teleseminar calls. 
All the so-called experts made it sound so easy.   I felt like there was something wrong with me because these tricks and quick fixed just didn’t work for me.  They didn’t get me the results I wanted with my partner. 
I really wanted to be able to sit down with my partner and just talk about our relationship.  I wanted to say what I wanted to say and I wanted him to say what he wanted to say.  In my perfect little fantasy, we would then negotiate what each of us was willing to give and change for the other person, make the changes and live happily ever after.  Sounds so simple, right?  Even as I write this article, I can hear those “relationship experts” on Oprah like Dr. Phil and so many others making fools of people like me on their shows, berating us because we just can’t figure out why these simple tips and tricks just didn’t do the trick.
After years and years of bad relationships, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, I finally realized that what was missing was the Whole Heart approach.  I just didn’t get that no matter how I said it or how many times I repeated it, nothing was ever going to change until I changed!
I had to look at myself and what I was really communicating, beneath my words.  I had no idea that I brought my entire history of every bad relationship to every interaction I had with my partner.  I was bringing all my anger, frustration and disappointment to this person, who had nothing to do with my past relationships.  Although I would say all those nice words that sounded really good on paper and do all those great techniques, nothing got better and things didn’t change for me.  Well, actually they did change…for the worse!
What I want to share with you is that it’s not as simple as some say.  It’s really and “inside job”.  By this I mean that you have to change yourself before you can change your relationships.  When your heart/mind and your body/mind are centered and present to your partner or to any person with whom you are interacting, your communication will convey your Whole Heart intention.  That is the Whole Heart connection.

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Five Rings Relationship Tools—Communicate From Your Whole Heart

Offering Tools for Lasting and Positive Change in Personal, Professional and Romantic Relationships…

Making the Connection with your Partner:  Offering Support

One of the biggest challenges in relationships is making the connection.  Do you feel like you support your partner but you don’t feel like your partner feels supported by you?  It could be that your partner doesn’t feel supported by you because they want to be supported by you in a different way than you are currently supporting them and they don’t know how to tell you.  This will feel like you are not making the connection.

How to Support a Water Person

Here are some clues as to how to support your partner so they feel supported. If you are with a watery, heart person, they want to be supported with hugs.  They want you to listen to them, to feel what they feel.  They want empathy.  They don’t need you to solve their problems.  They just want you to hear them.  If you try to solve their problems, they will probably get frustrated and angry.  They might bring it up a few more times, but each time, they just want to talk about it and feel heard.  Don’t bother trying to solve the problem, if there is one.

How to Support a Wind Person

A windy, head-centered person wants to be understood.  They want to talk about it but they don’t necessarily want a hug.  They want to be understood.  The thing about these people is that after they talk about it, do whatever processing they are going to do and feel heard, they are done talking about it.  They are not thinking about it.  And they are most likely not going to bring it up again.  Sometimes they can be misunderstood as people who stuff their feeling but the truth is that they aren’t really having any feelings about it.  They are done and they have moved on.  They have let it go.

How to Support a Fire Person

Fiery people want someone to listen to them while they vent their frustration or anger.  They tend to have quick, abrupt explosions and then they move one.  They’re over it, at least for the time being.  They don’t usually stay that angry or upset for long.  But they need to get it out.  They need to explode.  They need to express their feelings.  They don’t need you to fix them or to solve the problem.  They want you to hear them and they want to feel heard.  They might want a hug.  The best way to know is to ASK them!  They will love that!  And they will tell you yes or no to the hug.

How to Support a Ground Person

Ground people want to feel supported but they might not want to talk.  They want you to “just know”.   They aren’t big talkers in the first place.  Getting them to talk about things–you might feel like you are surgically extracting the conversation from them.  They are famous for the “monosyllabic”, one word response:  “yes, no, maybe…”  These people will feel supported by you with a hug and your time.  Just sit with them, be there for them, without needing them to talk about it.  Eventually, they might tell you…but don’t hold your breath.

If you have questions or specific situations you would like to ask about, please feel free to email me or comment on this blog.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Five Rings Relationship Tools—Communicate From Your Whole Heart
Offering Tools for Lasting and Positive Change in Personal, Professional and Romantic Relationships…

It’s Not What You Say; It’s How You Say It—Getting to YES

Do you feel like your communication in relationships is effective about 25% – 50 % of the time?  Do you get the “deer in headlights eyes”?  Do people misunderstand you?  Overreact to what you say?  Do you wish you could be effective ALL of the time or even MORE of the time?  Communication is much more about HOW you say it than it is about WHAT you say.

Here are some examples of how to use the Five Rings communication practices in your life to be more effective in your communications.  In this particular example, imagine you are presenting a situation to the other person and you really want them to see your side and to agree with you.

Getting to YES with the Ring of Wind

The most effective communication style will depend on the personality type.
If you are dealing with a person who lives primarily from their head, this is referred to as the ring of wind.  You will know this head-centered, wind person by the way the words they use when responding to various questions.  If you ask for their opinion they usually begin with a phrase like “I think…”

Wind people tend to be very logical in their approach to life.  This head-centered person needs detail and facts.  They want information.   They need a logical discussion.   They are not going to make a decision or act on their emotions or feelings.  They might not even be in touch with their feelings.  They are not going to respond or act based upon your feelings about the situation.    So you will have to offer them information and a plan.  It will be helpful to include them in the process by asking them for their support and any information they might have about the subject.  This will also help them to feel that you respect their opinion.  Head-centered people want to feel respected and appreciated for their intellectual contribution.  They will have to analyze all the information and get back to you.

Getting to YES with the Ring of Fire

People who live in the ring of fire can be recognized by their “see it and do it” approach to life.  They are “doers”.  They take action.  Because they are so busy, they just want the bottom line.  They don’t want the whole long drawn out story with every little detail.  They want information but in a concise, general format.  They want the bottom line and they want to feel confident that the bottom line reflects that you’ve done your homework on the subject.  You can communicate that you respect someone who lives in the ring of fire by respecting their time and their need to get straight to the point.  They might give you an answer right on the spot if you present your case in a concise, credible package.

Getting to YES with the Ring of Water

The person who lives in the ring of water is a very emotional, feeling person.   They will frequently express their opinion beginning with a phrase like, “I feel…”  The water person wants to discuss the subject.  They want you to share your feelings about the issue and they want to share theirs.  They want to go back and forth, discussing the facts and issues surrounding the subject.  Together, you will weigh the pros and cons, maybe sharing experiences and together you will come to an agreement.

Getting to YES with the Ring of Ground

If you are dealing with a person who lives in the ring of ground, you are dealing with someone who does not want fluff or rose-colored anything.   This person is your rock.  They are there for you, supportive, stable.   They do a lot of listening, being there for you.   This person wants details, paired down to the bottom line.  They will not be giving you a quick decision.  They will take in everything you’ve said, including your opinion on the subject and then they will probably say that they will need to “be with it”, “let it settle”, “mull it over”.  All of these are expressions a ground person would use meaning they are going to take their time to make a decision.  They won’t even give you a crumb as to which way they might be leaning.  They have the art of “Oh” down to a science.

All in all, these are general concepts.  Of course, nothing is ever black or white.  Because we are human beings, we all live in all the rings at some time or other.  We just tend to live in 1 or 2 more than the others.  I encourage you to experiment with these tools and concepts and have fun.