If there is one great lesson I learned in divorce support group, it is that expectations leads to disappointment and possible destruction of a relationship. People, like horses, have blinders and are sometimes not aware of their actions (or lack of action). Bringing this to one's attention is not only important, but it is imperative to be empathetic and reasoning on where a person is at in their present moment.
People enter our lives with their own life experience, which includes good and bad times. This molds and shapes them into who they are in the present. When in a romantic experience, people will shift and change, hopefully for the better.
So how do you meet people where they're at?
It is important to have good communication and ask questions on where the person is at. Like a job interview, the interviewers will ask candidates a variety of questions. It is important to know where a person is at, and how he/she got there. Where are they now? And where are they going? And people have blinders. Exposing blinders, or limitations, in a diplomatic way helps one become aware on their areas that require improvement.
Self Examination & Communication
Self examination is something that is desperately needed today. Too many people are wrapped up in their own world of self-absorption that they cannot empathize or see various perspectives. If someone brings up an issue, you need to take their feelings seriously and look within to discern their statement. This is best handled diplomatically, where you can present your case or "rebuttal" on their response.
For some people this is not easy to do as they take everything offensively; however, if you find yourself stuck in the same situations or behavior loops, it is necessary to look within. With this, it is important to find tools (or make goals) on how to improve the situation.
Communication makes or breaks any relationship. It is essential, but maturity is what keeps communication fluid and clear. I believe in clear, concise and straightforward communication because it does not play any mind games. It maybe best to avoid words like should, would and could because they are theoretical and leads to expectations like, "You could have done it this way."
Low emotional intelligence, being defensive or chronically on-attack, damages situations. It is not easy to reach these people, especially if "treading" on egg shells.
Check-ins may be necessary to make sure each party is happy or on the same page.
It is important to see where a person is at in their life and meet them half way. We must learn how to let go of uneven desires and become the best version of ourselves (and better communicators).
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com