Show me the LOVE in the story!!

How do you know if your relationship partner loves you? Do you rely on how you feel when the two of you are together? Do you know because you are told? What is the proof of love?


Often couples that I work with speak of knowing exactly when they fell in love and this knowing is frequently the reason for beginning a relationship.  We knew as soon as (fill in the blank) that we were going to get married.  Who doesn’t enjoy an amazing love story? And we know what happens next: there is a beautiful wedding, with beautiful pictures, funny stories to tell, and babies (although not in every situation and not necessarily in this order). Then reality kicks in.

A couple that I am working with has hit the wall of reality after 3 years of marriage.  Finances, scheduling, work, and the end of the honeymoon have become real characters in their story of love. Like so many other couples, they are questioning if their story is coming to an end with statements like, “I don’t know if he still loves me” and “I can’t tell if she loves me anymore”… Even though they say, “I Love you” every day!

I tell this couple that Love is demonstrated through behavior. What do you do to demonstrate loving each other? What is the evidence that you love each other? In other words – Show me the Love in your story!!


What is the evidence to support your claim of love?

Surprisingly, they both had a difficult time answering these questions. When I asked for the evidence, I was told, “There is no evidence that I love her, but I do” and “ I can’t think of any evidence, but I’m sure it’s there.”

Picture this couple before a judge in a courtroom and their testimony is “ I love him/her, I just can’t prove it because I have no evidence.” In the courtroom of relationships, evidence proves your case. If you have nothing to show maybe you should rethink your claim!


If there is no proof – maybe it doesn’t exist!

Effective communication can lead to Effective demonstrations of love!

“98% of success is support – I’ve got your back!”© – DE

Open Soul Communication


Do they know what you want?


ImageLast night I had an impromptu Soul Session with a young woman that is having a difficult time at her job.  This was not the first time that we have addressed this topic of discussion.  However, this was the first time that she was so emotionally distraught and feeling overwhelmed by her situation at work that she could not stop crying.  Through her tears, she continually suggested that she wasn’t being treated fairly by her superiors. I asked her what she wanted from them and she announced that what she really wanted was to be acknowledged for doing a good job and told that she was appreciated.

This immediately sparked a thought and prompted these questions from me to her: Do you want something from them that they don’t know how to give to you? Have you told them what you needed?  Have you considered that they don’t know how to praise you the way you need to be praised?

How should I love thee? 


How often do we find ourselves in relationships with people that simply don’t know how to love us and respect us they way that we need to be loved and respected?


Demonstrations of love, respect, praise and appreciation are as unique to individuals as fingerprints, which means that one-size does not fit all.  Effective communication requires a discussion about what you need in your relationship.  Waiting for what you need to just show up without sharing what you need is a straightforward way to emotional distress and uncertainty in a relationship.


No one will ever know what you need/want or the best way to provide it for you unless you open up and say something.

Effective Communication promotes Effective Relationships!

“98% of success is support – I’ve got your back” – DE 

It’s not about HOW – It’s about Why!!


So much energy is given to the HOW or process of communication …Don’t worry about that so much, focus on WHY we communicate.  Before you ask, “How should I say (fill in the blank)”, ask, “Why should I say (fill in the blank)”. When we examine why we communicate, so much about ourselves and how we perceive others is revealed.


Here are 4 fundamental reasons why we communicate:



Why do we communicate?  

The most basic answer to this question is  – SURVIVAL!  Without communication we would simply fail to survive. There would be no way for us to get our most basic needs met and without those needs being met…well you know what would happen, DEATH!! So, for the simple need to survive – it is mandatory that we communicate. 



Why do we communicate?

Without communication, we would have no idea of WHO WE ARE! I often ask clients and students “Who are you” and I sit back and listen to them tell me all of the things people have told them about themselves…and they don’t realize how much of their identity comes from what other people have told them.  We don’t make ourselves – other people make us and we make other people through communication (more about this in another blog!)


Why do we communicate?

How else do you make friends or start a family? You have to communicate!! We communicate to be SOCIAL! Let’s face it – we don’t do well living in isolation. Even people that live in some of the most remote places have invited reality TV crews to come spend time with them. We have an aching need to belong to something and we meet that that need by communicating.



Why do we communicate?


It is the most PRACTICAL way to get things done.  When we go out to eat, it is far more practical to tell the server what you want than it is to have him or her read your mind. And, when you find that you need anything, it is better to ask for what you need or want than to wait and hope that someone will figure it out.


Simple reflections like “Why do I want say this” or “Why did you say that” – help us understand so much more about ourselves and our relationships than if we asked “How did that message get sent”.  So shift the perspective from How to Why.

“98% of success is support – I’ve got your back” DE ©













Two Prevailing Myths about Effective Interpersonal Communication


Many times during my professional career as a communication professor, consultant, and coach – my students and clients inevitably come to me with the two deeply rooted ideas about communication. I have learned over the years that in order to begin the process of helping individuals gain effective communication skills, I first needed to shift the way they viewed communication.


Myth # 1: Everything there is to know about interpersonal communication is common sense.


Effective Interpersonal Communication revolves around the ongoing process of skill development and practice.  Most of our communication behaviors (effective or ineffective) are learned. We must learn to be effective and competent communicators and this often requires the support of a communication professor, consultant, or counselor.


Myth# 2: You either know how to communicate well or you don’t.


As mentioned above, communication skills are learned. We all must be taught the skills needed to practice communicating effectively.  As with all teaching and learning, this begins with a willingness to learn.  This means opening up to allow “new “information in while sometimes letting “old” information go. Gaining and improving your communication skills is necessary for effective decision-making and building effective relationships.

98% of success is support…I’ve got your back!-DE ©

Open Soul Communication was founded by Communication Professor, Life and Communication Coach/Consultant, and textbook author Dana Emerson. 


New Year – New Possibilities!

Capture the Possibility

Hello 2014!! This is the year of new possibilities and it begins with no resolutions. Instead, a new perspective on  building more effective relationships (including a relationship with yourself) is in order. How  or where does that begin? It starts with examining how effective or ineffective we communicate with each other (including ourselves). Opening up to the possibility that our communication skills could be more effective and produce more effective outcomes (read relationships) is the vision for 2014.