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Mother and Daughter Communication

Today here in the UK is Mother's Day. A day when we treat our mums and thank them for all they do for us. I am travelling over to see my mum and very grateful I have her in my life. But it hasn't always been this way.

I don't know if you can relate to this but when I was in my teens my mum and I had difficulties. Looking back I recognise it had a lot to do with my hormones, insecurities as a teenager, having been allowed to work away from home for 4 weeks and thinking I knew everything. We clashed on many things and were both strong minded in our opinions.

Today as a step parent to a 10 year old I am working hard to listen and ensure I come at the conversation from her perspective and not always giving my opinion. Don't get me wrong it doesn't always work and I am still learning and growing as a person and constantly checking myself.

When I look back on those past conversations with my mum, I didn't listen, or take into consideration any of her feelings. My conversations and hers were driven by emotion, saying words I didn't mean and causing hurt and pain. 

You see no one told me the difference between emotional and logical conversations. I didn't know the emotional brain was 5 times stronger than my logical brain. I had no idea about listening to the emotions of my mum and thinking about what this meant and I certainly didn't have the emotional intelligence to think what she might be feeling. Oh no, it was all about me and still is.

We come at life from our perspective and rightly so. If we didn't who else would be responsible for making sure we were happy and safe. This reflects in our conversations and most of the time we speak based on us and don't listen to what the other person is actually saying. Yes we will pick up on words, generally we will only listen for the words that make us right, especially during an argument. Then we will use those words to "fire" back at the other person as we have our "war of words". Even when we are not arguing we only hear less than 50% of what the other person is saying.

Now I know all the research and more about how we, as humans, work, I am in a much better position to have good conversations. Conversations that enable and empower other people. Conversations where the other person thanks me at the end and all I have done is listen.

Please don't think for a minute I am saying all my conversations are perfect because they are not. Good communication is a skill and takes time to learn and to be consciously present. The more you work and practice, the better you become, like any other skill.

I wish I knew all of these things when I was younger, it would have at least helped me to understand me a bit more and probably made life a bit easier for the people around me.

Today I will appreciate my mum and am grateful for all she has given me. Thanks mum.

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