Renew Relationships & The Power Of Language

Renew Relationships & The Power Of Language

We go to reunions, whether for family, schools, the military or other groups, to relive happy times past, renew old friendships and relationships and catch up with people we haven’t seen in awhile. But if we spent enough time with people to want to take the time reunite, there’s a good chance we will see some people we might otherwise avoid due to relationships strained from past problems.

What should you say in that situation? Or would you rather just avoid the person?

We all carry memories, good or bad, with our relationships. Fortunately, there are some principles of good communication that can help us renew old friendships and ties and even make a fresh start with relationships that were damaged in the past.

So how can we change our way of listening so that we genuinely hear what others are telling us? Here are a few tips that can help us as we renew past relationships:

  • Understand the relationship between language, emotions and our interpretations of events.
  • Distinguish what is being said from your interpretations.
  • Know yourself: Remember the way other people treat or treated you in the past you does not determine your self-worth. Distinguish who you are at the core of your being from your experiences, and live in that “domain of being.”
  • Discover unrealized potential. Consider that language can be used not just to discuss the world around us, but also to create new possibilities and relationships.
Most people think they can only tell another person “I love you” if they have all of the emotions and all of the experience of love. But you can also say “I love you” and create the experience and feelings of loving as you say it.
This is the next use of language that I think it is important we as a society move into — being able to create with our words. If we consciously use our words in this way, they can be a positive force to help us build better relationships, and renew our past connections.

About the Author:  David Cunningham is a Senior Program Leader with Landmark Education. To listen to the entire broadcast of his conversation on Are We Listening Radio, go to To learn more about David Cunningham and Landmark Education, visit and

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Stagg | Voluptua Project

    April 1, 2010 at 4:55 am

    You know, it’s funny. I was just thinking about this very subject a few days ago and contemplating whether or not I should attend my own family reunion next year. A lot of the people in my family have distanced themselves – either because of work, school, finances or just plain old reclusiveness – from everyone else. I’m one of those people.

    I use to think the best way to keep from having to deal with difficult people was to stay away. I’m learning that only compounds the problem and only leads to more bitterness, more hatred, etc. I’ve decided that I will go to my reunion next year to both heal past relationships for myself and to see if I can assist others with doing the same.

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