“RElationships” Session 3: Communication in Relationships
Read Chapter 5 of Keep Your Love On before beginning this lesson.
Speaking from Your Heart
Communication is the best indicator of what is actually going on inside of a person’s heart. Jesus says, that it is “out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” But let’s not forget that your words only account for about 7% of your potential communication. The condition of your heart will manifest itself nonverbally before you ever speak a word.
1. Reflect on your own communication with others. Does your communication seem to suggest that your heart is governed by fear, as Danny talked about in the last chapter, or by love?
2. Think about your nonverbal communication. People tend to mirror you in their nonverbal communications. Do people seem relaxed around you, or do you notice people tensing up when you walk in the room? This could tell you something about the way that you are carrying yourself. Discuss this with your small group.
Your ability to communicate effectively and accurately is directly linked to your level of self-awareness. If you are not honest with yourself about your own thoughts and needs, your communication will also be dishonest. In order to convey truth-filled communication, you must learn to know and value what’s going on inside yourself so that you can learn to know and value what’s going on inside others.
1. Can you expect to communicate honestly with others, if you are unable to communicate honestly with yourself? Discuss this concept with your small group.
According to Danny Silk, powerless people adopt one of three possible communication styles: passive communication, aggressive communication, or passive-aggressive communication. All three of these communication styles are rooted in the fear of communicating truth. In order to overcome fear-based communication, Danny makes the case of “assertive communication,” a powerful communication style that says, “You matter, and so do I.”
1. Read over the description of these communication styles in the book. Which one do you tend to gravitate towards most frequently?
2. What boundaries might you need to set in order to maintain healthy communication with someone utilizing one of the fear-based communication styles discussed in the book?
3. What intentional steps might you need to take in order to establish assertive communication as the norm in your relationships