It was Maya Angelou who said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” Nowhere is this advice more true than in romantic relationships. Human beings are not that mysterious. We convey through spoken and non-spoken communication what our intentions are all the time. We are literally broadcasting ourselves to the world 100% of the time. Probably the most important thing you can do to have an awesome relationship is to listen and observe. Being observant is such a rare skill these days that it could almost be termed a super power. Three words I repeat over and over again to my clients are “listen, learn, love.”
Human beings use two forms of communication, verbal and non-verbal. To understand a person’s motivations, you need to be able to read non-verbal cues as well as listen for key meanings in verbal statements. Many of us might not be able to articulate directly what we want, but our actions will do the talking for us. Then again, we might just come out and reveal our desires in an off the cuff statement that the other person doesn’t take seriously because it comes across as a joke. Half of what I do as a dating and relationship coach is encourage people to listen to what the other person is saying both verbally and non-verbally.
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Reading motivations in human interactions is a valuable tool. Something we can all strive for is to become more conscious of our own motivations and actions, because this gives us valuable insight into the behavior of others and it helps in a new relationship when you are trying to understand whether the other person returns your affection. Watch how they behave. Listen to what they are saying, because more often than not, the person you are interested in will tell you in not so many words exactly where you stand.
And people don’t only show you who they are with words. We also use non-verbal behavior to explain ourselves, and many times in relationships, the two forms of communication don’t add up. This causes the most heartache and confusion, when our date tells us one thing and does another, but if we are able to be honest with ourselves, we can usually see that we knew in our hearts what the truth was all along but were afraid to see it.