I've noticed a pattern in a handful of songs that have been exceedingly popular the past couple years.
It seemed to start with the highly shared music video by Gotye ft. Kimbra "Somebody I Used to Know".
Shortly after, Adele performed "Someone Like You" at the 2012 Grammy's. A few months went by and Nate Ruess teamed up with P!NK for the unforgettable "Just Give Me A Reason".
Fast forward to just a couple months ago, and Christina Aguilera heard A Great Big World's "Say Something" and couldn't resist teaming up with him to create a duet (if you'd like to refresh your memory on these songs, scroll down to the bottom of this blog).
Each of these songs have the same undertone; a separation of lover's that seems unfixable.
I have to tell you, the first time I heard every single one of them I cried. Don't worry, I wasn't ugly crying on the freeway. It was more like taking my breathe away for a minute and letting myself have a tear or two. This was for two reasons:
1. These are undeniably beautiful pieces.
2. They hit incredibly close to home.
These songs touch my heart because the feeling of loneliness is coupled with a feeling of longing. A longing of past times, a longing to have the connection back that used to be so strong, a longing for closure, and a longing to be wanted.
Regardless of your current romantic situation, I believe that every human wants to be wanted. Or, in other words, we all want to be accepted. This particular type of music hits that nerve. In every relationship, there are times where it's easy to feel as though you are on an island and the counterpart is on the other side of the world having all the fun.
The reality is, the other person probably feels just as isolated. It all boils down to communication, and I don't care if you think you are the best communicator in the world, because chances are there are a bunch of people that feel as though you are speaking a completely different language.
I've recently been incredibly humbled by this concept. I used to believe I was a great communicator. But guess what? I wasn't.
It's not that I don't do a decent job communicating my point. The problem lies in the fact that I explain it the way I would explain it to myself. And there is only one person in the world that could possibly understand that 100%, and that is myself.
The hardest part about communication is learning the language of your loved ones instead of forcing your language on everyone around you. (tweet this)
Even the most simple of words or thoughts can be said with one intention and interpreted entirely differently by someone else.
So, how do you learn to communicate in another "language"? This is very much easier said than done. I don't have this down to a science, and it is something I've been struggling with. Especially in the relationships that I value the most.
Because we know our loved ones the best, it means we know how to love them the hardest, and fight them the hardest. (tweet this)
Even though I often believe my point in an argument is valid and important, I've realized that it puts my most intimate relationships in danger. I have to ask myself some very basic questions when this moment arises:
1. Is what I am arguing worth the outcome?
2. Is the core of what I am trying to say being said as simply as possible, and am I really saying what I am trying to say?
3. Am I getting caught up in who is "right" and who is "wrong", or am I really trying to communicate something that is beneficial to the relationship?
4. Am I repeating the same story over and over again, or am I speaking in the "check-in" format (i.e. using feeling words instead of repeating the same old story)?
"A simple start to communicating effectively from your heart is to say, “When this even happened, I felt ______, ______, and _______” (using 3 feelings from the Feeling Wheel). When you express yourself in this way, in humility, you can only grow and connect." -Marla Keller, How To "Check In"
Often times, I get caught up in the drama. When I choose the drama, or the the "chaos-addiction", I choose being "right" over being in "relationship".
Having a valuable and authentic relationship seems to be harder than ever in our era of instant gratification. These songs speak to the fear of or actual loss of that authentic and vulnerable love.
If you can push through your tendencies to choose the drama and choose looking past the story, you can learn the language of those around you. Choosing to push through it is probably the most pivotal choice, and what sets couplships that make it apart from those that don't.
The responsibility of learning this new language is not just on your shoulders. It's the other person's job to commit to this change as well. The best way to let this happen naturally is to practice saying something along these lines when miscommunication begins:
"What I hear you saying is X. Is that what you are trying to say?"
If they respond with a no, then you can follow with "Okay, please help me understand what you mean."
Fluency is not guaranteed, but you are likely to argue less, and when you do argue it will be about what is worth fighting for.
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