Not everyone is communicative. Not everyone believes the words others utter. Not everyone uses words with elegance or comfort. Not everyone understands what you say the way you mean to be understood. For those of you who communicate clearly and those who stumble awkwardly, the following will help you develop a communication that enhances your love, trust and closeness. Don't give up, the effort will be worth the results.
Dr. Carol Francis
So when you are a member of a partnership and you like to talk and listen, you need to recognize that your way of talking and listening may or may not be the way your partner enjoys or even understands the art of talking and listening.
First step toward communicating: Truly try to decipher your partner's style of listening. For example, does he or she listen to the precision of your words and therefore do you need to use your word selection wisely and carefully to truly communicate your ideas. Or does your partner listen best to the musical inflections of your voice; and if it is pleasant and light, does he/she listen to the content more readily or if it is harsh and staccato is he/she likely to tune out or become mentally defensive and unable to listen to your content. Perhaps your partner listens to 20 second sound bites and you need to condense your message to those pithy 20 seconds to insure that you are understood.
Second step toward communicating: NEVER ASSUME YOU ARE MAKING SENSE TO YOUR PARTNER. Try to discern or ask if you are making sense to him/her and see how they respond or reflect your information back to you. Miscommunications are sourced in assumptions that what you thought you said was what your partner thought you said.
Third step toward communicating: NEVER ASSUME YOU UNDERSTOOD YOUR PARTNER BEFORE OR AFTER HE/SHE SPOKE. Always try to restate politely and quickly what they were saying, as you understood the message; and then politely subtly thank them for clarifications. If you did not understand him/her the way your partner wanted you to understand the message, shrug your shoulders (internally) and know you just need to try to understand him/her from their point of view not from what your point of view on their message. Don't engage in the "No, you said this I know you did." Instead resort to "Okay, so what you were telling me was. . . .! Am I understanding you now?" Misunderstanding and need for clarification is merely part of being TWO DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT HUMAN BEINGS and not about blame, ego, self-righteousness etc.
Fourth step toward communicating: Men and women, and all the variations of men and women, use communication for different reasons. Some love the emotional discharge of talking. Some hate the emotional discharge of talking. Some enjoy sharing their day; others never want to rehearse the day's events--too boring or painful. Some chatter as if it is a hobby or play activity. Some hate chatter--feels like noise or mind-clutter. Some speak only to convey a task or specific idea--no philosophical discourse, no self-analysis and no dreaming out loud. Others use talking as a means of creative organization. And for some, talking is romantic and soul-sharing--a great precursor to intimacy of all forms; while others prefer the quiet as an avenue to romantic connection.
Well, diversity is every where so do not assume that you use communication the same way your partner does. Also, free yourself up from feeling that your partner has to fulfill all your communication needs in a given day; friends, family, therapists, even strangers are sometimes better suited for the talking you may need to do and the listening you may need to gain. Love relationships do not supply all your needs--just the ones essential for you to know you are loved. That's another topic altogether.
LISTEN CAREFULLY; CLARIFY FREQUENTLY; AVOID YOUR EGO OR BLAME SYNDROME by being Patient and Thoughtful; Speak your thoughts according to your Partner's style of listening as much as possible; and finally, never assume you understand your partner better then they understand themselves. Not everyone is good with words nor complete with their verbalizations of their thoughts nor always clear--including you.
So remember the following truisms of a Loving Communication with Your Partner:
LOVE, Listen, Talk Simultaneously
Respect yourself and your partner while listening and talking
Enjoy this video together and you will recognize which one of you is the "talker" and which one of you is the "responder." Be sure to laugh. Frankly, I think this is the way most couples communicate with each other on good days: the content does not matter nearly as much as the tone, attitude, facial expressions associated to the words. Cheers and click below.
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