Do you know how to bend instead of break in stressful conversations? Learn how to go with the flow and change, or bend the direction of a negative force so that it cannot harm you when you use the wu-wei of improving communication in your relationships.
This is another glimpse of my in-depth interview with master relationship coach Ken Donaldson, author of Marry Yourself First — Saying “I Do” to a Life Of Passion, Power And Purpose.
Ken has helped thousands of couples and individuals break their self-limiting patterns and create more happiness in their life and relationships. Wu-wei is one of the secret weapons in his success arsenal.
What is the wu-wei technique?
There is an old Chinese principle from a Taoist perspective referred to as Wu-Wei, which is translated as “non-doing”. It is akin to bending instead of breaking when a person directs negative energy toward you through words or feelings.
The person may express anger, criticize, tease you or make you try to feel guilty, helpless, mad, insecure or upset. Whatever the negative force is, this is the time to actively engage in Wu-Wei.
How do you use Wu-Wei?
If you feel any resistance or negativity during a conversation, instead of becoming negative or defensive you can choose to go with the flow. You can yield to the other person and change the direction of the conversation by allowing the negative energy of the other to pass you by without disturbing or even touching you. Think of it as verbal Tai Chi or Karate.
Your goal in the conversation is to avoid engaging in any type of power struggle or negativity by allowing the other person’s energy to move past you and not hit you.
How is this different from a conditioned automatic response?
Your conditioned response to negativity may be that of either fight or flight. You might get defensive or aggressive. You might shut down and become passive, including giving in or doing what you don’t want to do in order to avoid conflict conversations.
Both aggressive and passive responses are ineffective ways to communicate. They often leave you feeling alienated and at odds with the person who either fought with or fled.
Why is Wu-Wei a better choice?
The goal of Wu-Wei is to be assertive by telling others what you are feeling, what you want, need, or what you are requesting. Let it be known what is not acceptable; and do so in a way that is forceful enough but does not step over any of their boundaries.
You are respecting yourself and others when you assert yourself by dealing with the small stuff before it becomes large. You use wu-wei to avoid arguments and set firm boundaries against an onslaught of negativity. Then you have plenty of positive energy to live your life on your terms. And you will become a powerful listener, which is an act of love and a way to create healthy relationships.
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Love deeply and live your dreams now,