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Follow These Three Gates Of Speech For Happier Relationships
Communication

Follow These Three Gates Of Speech For Happier Relationships

Communication is quite an important part of our life and a key force in shaping up our relationships with people, both on the personal as well as professional front. Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges in any sort of relationships is what we say to people and later regret saying it.

Here is an interesting practice that, if followed, can really help us make our relationships much happier. It is called 'three gates of speech', which is practiced in Sufism. It says if anything you want to communicate to anyone, first test it through these three gates of speech; and only if it passes through these gates, then you should say it. If it fails on any one of these gates, you should not say it. Let's explore these magical gates of communication.

Gate 1: The first of these gates says ask yourself what you are going to communicate, "Is it true"? If you are not sure whether it is true or not, then stop right there, don't say it. Often, couples are seen telling each other I know you did this because you wanted to anger me. Now, stop and check that through this first gate. There is no way one can be sure of that the other person has done something to anger you, unless they themselves say that to you. Clearly, this statement fails at the first gate of communication and so one should not say it.

Gate 2: The second gate says ask yourself about what you are going to communicate, "Is it necessary"? This means will your communication make any difference to the person you are going to communicate with? What you are going to say, will it help the person in any way? If the answer is no then stop, don't say it. What is the point of saying something that will not help anyone, in any which way?

Gate 3: The third gate says ask yourself what you are going to communicate, "Is it kind"? Even, if it is true and necessary but not kind, don't say it. Now a lot of people argue about this third gate saying that sometimes we need to be brutally honest. This gate says be kindly honest. Honesty can be pursued with absolute kindness, it doesn't require brutality. In other words, what you are going to say, say it in kind words and if you can't say that in kind words then don't say it.

When you cross-check everything you are going to say to someone through these three gates, you will first realize that there are at least 50% of those things that you yourself don't want to say. For the rest 50%, you may initially feel an urge to say it despite the communication failing at those gates. In that case, say it and for yourself see the impact it has on the other person and your relationship with them. This will help you understand the impact of what you say, and next time that urge to say those things that don't pass these gates will automatically go down.

This is a double-edged sword and in a good way. Once you start practicing this with people around you, you will see slowly how they too shift the way they communicate and they will do this subconsciously, without consciously being aware of it. Nevertheless, it means double benefits to you.

A Tip To Remember: 'State Of Mind Of The Receiver' Theory
While you follow the above-mentioned three sufi gates of speech, another thing that can help your communication and make your relationships happy is the 'state of mind of the receiver' theory. According to this, the way a person will respond to your communication depends largely on the fact that how is that person feeling at that moment, and what is their state of mind.

Let us understand this with the help of an example. Suppose, an employee wants a leave approval from his/her boss. Now, consider two scenarios related to boss' state of mind (keeping other variable constant).

Scenario 1: The boss is very upset as he had a bad fight with his wife in the morning as she accused him of being a workaholic, who is not giving enough time to family. Now, as a result of that fight (or any other event that has put the boss in bad mood) the boss is upset and his 'state of mind' is not positive. In such a situation, if his team member asks for leave, just think about the chances of getting an approval.

Scenario 2: The boss has had a good start to the day, and is seemingly happy and relaxed. In such a situation the team member goes and asks for leave. Now, there would be no prizes for guessing, in which of these two scenarios the employee stands a better chance of getting the leave approval.

Clearly, by taking the 'state of mind of the receiver' in consideration, along with the three gates of speech, one can boost the happiness quotient in their relationships.
Image: thinkstock

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