There’s always been one dreaded C word in my world.  No, not the one that would result in our mouths being washed out with soap.  Let’s keep our minds clean here!

Yesterday, I gave a fairly large presentation and afterwards, someone came up and thanked me for presenting a difficult and complicated topic in such an easy and fun way.  It made me think – am I that way in my personal life?  Am I a good communicator?  I’m afraid the answer could be – not all the time.  Sometimes I prefer my cave over talking about stressful personal situations.  I’m still growing. 🙂

But, there really are three C’s that are critical (no c-pun intended) to any relationship:  Communication, Conflict and Compromise.

Communication problems in relationships are a primary cause of failed marriages, broken hearts and ruined dreams.  You think you’ve explained yourself clearly?  Think again.  Does your partner really know what you are saying (and assume you are not being clear, not that they are dumb!)? We’ve become lazy with our thinking and explanations. We expect our partners to know what the freak we’re talking about.  Unless you’re married Mr./Ms. Super-psychic, don’t expect your partner to read your mind.  And, be specific.  The army has long since learned that minds thrive on clear specific orders. It’s no different in relationships.  If you have a need – say it.

Conflict is a part of life.  But, if you and your partner/friend have a part in Groundhog’s Day (the same thing over and over again) then your method of solving conflict is not working.  How can you fix it?  Remember, there are no victims.  If your comments during a fight are going to cause pain to your partner – don’t say them. Want to win?  Go play darts or go to Vegas – there’s no winner in a relationship fight. It’s a team sport.  Think before you speak, act or walk away.  Once done, it’s hard to take it back.

Compromise is a difficult one. There’s good compromise and bad compromise.  Bad compromise is changing your habits and who you are in such a way that you wind up becoming less of your full, authentic, happy self.  Good compromise is changing your habits and self in such a way that you grow more into your most full, authentic, happy self.

Aristotle’s great love advice was that real-deal love comes from being involved in “a relationship of shared virtue,” where you pick a partner who gets you at your core and lovingly inspires, challenges and supports you to become your best possible self — not someone who takes away from your best possible self.  Essentially, he believed that true happiness comes from a relationship with positive and supportive communication,  healthy compromise and working through conflicts in a loving way.  Amazing what a guy with a one word name knows!

Just random thoughts for your weekend.  Have a good one!!