The most basic action, in being alive, is to reach and withdraw; it is the basic survival dynamic, to reach out for food or to withdraw from danger. It is also the basis of communication. If sufficient intention is used and another is paying attention and duplicates that which is being put across, then communication is taking place. The basis of communication and interaction, then, is: reach - withdraw; speak - listen; give - receive. In practice of course, people have different objectives and viewpoints in life and these can conflict. But if viewpoints are shared through a process of honest and sincere two-way communication, affection and empathy may be built up, reinforcing a mutual understanding.
Your relationships with other people have a great impact upon every aspect of your life. The essence of relationships is communication; and yet, even between people who care deeply for each other, communication sometimes becomes blocked. We cannot put our feelings into words. Our partner speaks but we do not hear. We stare helplessly across an abyss of silence, or in frustration we hurl attacks that drive us further apart.
Poor communication skills can damage all your relationships. This can affect your performance at work, your self-confidence and your physical health.
Misunderstandings and lack of communication are the basis for problems between people. For example, when a couple are unable to effectively discuss their feelings and ideas together, their relationship - including their sexual relations - may eventually break down. Furthermore, if you are experiencing problems in your relationship and because of a lack of communication skills you inappropriately attempt to share your feelings, you may experience even more rejection, hurt, and misunderstanding. This may result in your avoiding intimate communication and putting up emotional walls.
We may be afraid to face our own deepest feelings, needs and thoughts. We may be afraid to express them to another because of how we imagine the other may react. So we live private lives, partly cut off from partners, friends, colleagues and family, and even from ourselves.
A wall of frustration or emotional ‘charge’ develops between two people (or between a person and an organization) when what is felt is not expressed, or what is expressed is not listened to with understanding and empathy. The skills practiced on the Communication & Relationships Course help us to break through these sorts of impasse - so that alienation and estrangement are replaced by contact and intimacy.
The essence of this course is developing your interpersonal communication skills through actual practicing and training ... so that these skills become automatic and are at your finger tips just when you want them, rather than just in your mind.
The skills you will learn are based on tried and tested methods. You may even know some of them. But knowing is not enough. You need to develop these skills through practice and training.
The truth is that there is no royal road to learning. Few can just read a book and apply its teachings - even when these teachings are excellent. You need the opportunity to practice in a secure environment with a like-minded partner so you can attain your goals.
Therefore to do this course you will need a similarly-motivated partner (or group of friends) and a few weekends when you can work together intensively. You'll learn a lot about each other and about yourself!