Using mindful communication as a relationship practice is like a magic mirror. Just like the fairy tale queen, we want this mirror to tell us the truth but secretly we sometimes would rather not know. If we look carefully into the mirror of our conversations, it’s possible to catch our blind spots. For a mindfulness practitioner this is very good news.
Red light conversations go along with our blind spots instead of revealing them. One of the ways we trick ourselves into this is by using ‘weasel words’. These are words that say one thing but mean the opposite. A green light conversation holds up the mirror that clarifies this difference. Here are some examples:
When boundary really means barrier: Clare says to Paul: ” I’m strengthening my boundaries and putting myself first. I could care less how you feel.”
When love really means possessiveness: Jack says to Charlene: ” I can’t live without you, I love you completely– except when you disagree with me”.
When validate means to justify: Jane says to Betty ” what kind of friend are you? Why can’t you stand up for me, I need you to validate my position.”
There are countless examples of the little tricks of self deception that slip into our conversations and our relationships. Practicing mindful communication means we have a chance to work with every conversation that arises in the course of our daily life and be on the lookout for those clear mirrors that reflect how we can be more open and honest with ourselves and each other.