Speak the Truth in Love
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV)
It is important that you learn to speak the truth in love effectively to your difficult person. Difficult relationships have unhealthy communication patterns.
Here are some of the unhealthy tactics frequently used:
- Manipulation and Threats
- Silent Treatments
- Indirect Comments
- Passive Aggressiveness
- Blame and Accusations
- Emotional and Verbal Abuse
Underneath the dynamics of the poor communication are layers of expectations, resentments, pain, misinterpretations, wrong motives, denial, and dishonesty. As a result, conflict remains unresolved and arguments occur over and over. At some point, people stop attempting to talk about the problems and withdraw emotionally and/or physically from the relationship or marriage.
There are many communication techniques available, but they don’t work in difficult relationships, because when only one person is trying to improve the relationship, it continues to be dysfunctional.
You need to learn techniques designed to help you speak your truth in love to difficult people.
Here are some of the things you need to know:
- When to speak and when to be silent.
- How many times you should repeat the same thing.
- How to increase the probability that the person will listen.
- What to include and not include in your message.
- Whether or not it is your responsibility to say what you have to say nicely so the person won’t be hurt or upset.
- Whether or not you have to have a boundary when you confront someone on behavior that bothers you.
- How to detach from the person’s reaction to your message.
- How to hold fast to your truth regardless of the other person’s response.
Difficult people invalidate you by telling you that your feelings, perceptions, opinions, thoughts, and experiences are wrong. If you believe them over yourself, you invalidate yourself. You have to know your truth and stand in it regardless of what the other person says or believes.
Once you know your truth, you speak it not to change the other person, but just because you need to. It is for your own benefit only because difficult people usually do not want to hear your truth. They don’t want to understand what you are saying because they don’t want to change. Instead of listening, they will blame, deflect, defend, accuse, ignore, deny, punish, confuse, react, and rage. These techniques will confound you unless you remember that their purpose is to prevent you from speaking your truth and holding the person hearing you accountable.
You will learn how to know your own truth, stand firm in your truth, and communicate your truth effectively to difficult people. Speaking the truth in love is a powerful Relationship-Changing Principle. Learn how you can apply this Christian relationship help to your life today.