Often, we think whoever yells louder or speaks tougher is the better communicator, but we know, and we all know, this only leads to louder yelling and more animated behaviour, where the goal becomes that elusive “win’. No one ends up communicating well, or being heard. Did you know, that the most successful communicators are those who speak calmly, thoughtfully, and respectfully. They don’t ever raise their voices, use inappropriate language, behave with affect that is overbearing or intimidating, or are quick to react. Why? ow an they be so calm? Practice, of course, and because they have a goal. The most successful communicators are experienced at having learned all the important and necessary aspects of communication in order to have a successful, two-way, respectful conversation, without imploding, exploding, and going in for the win. If this is how you communicate, you’re on the brink of great change. Mend and repair is on your horizon, and is very doable.
But before anything, you need to understand how you got here, and where you want to go or get back to. Think about it, there were some obvious reasons why you came together in the first place; Life is fast and often gets in the way. We fall into ruts of behaviour, bad habits, and the throes of kids and work, and often end up living in an emotional place that we have no idea how we got there. Time to check in. In all my years of practice, the majority of the time, my clients want to stay together, and realize that life swallowed them up, and they’ve forgotten how to be kind, respectful, and interested in each other. This is where you begin, in realizing what has changed mostly, is your ability to communicate. That includes, how you relate, how you listen, how you love, how you take, how you give, and how you connect.
Your approach into any kind of communication must be built on boundaries, a plan, and goals. They key here, is you set the tone, and the tone must be set by asking yourself, ‘what do I want to accomplish?’ You don’t want to win. You don’t want to become stressed or stress another either. You, have a goal. In fact, you need to have a few goals, besides the obvious goal of what you want to accomplish by having the conversation you’re going to have in the first place.
Your goal, is to be heard. You want to be heard. Makes sense, right? Do you really think you’re going to be heard, and then validated and acknowledged, when you’re going in for the kill, guns all ‘ablazin? Heck no. All you’re doing here is inviting pushback; defence and offence. That’s a bad combination and recipe for disaster. You’ve lost the battle before having even given yourself a chance to begin. Go in with a convicted and positive mindset; Commit to the commitment of actually having a conversation, calmly, being present. That means not only hearing your partner, but listening to what they have to say, and thinking about what they’ve said, before you respond.
Stick with that. If you can’t engage in a conversation with calm, reasonability, and a clear, rational mind, wait. Nothing good ever comes from anything when you’re hot under the collar. Ever. Once you’re calm, come back to the conversation. You’ll converse more successfully, and you’re more likely to be heard, validated, and acknowledged. Goal accomplished. Or, at least, you’ll be talking. Conversing. Effectively and successfully. You’d like to be heard, so listen. You’d like respect, so offer it. You’d like to actually have a conversation, so converse. Leave Ego at the door, stay calm, listen, and validate and acknowledge what the one you’re conversing with is saying and feeling. This is give and take, and this is how it’s done.
Perhaps now, with a little practice, a bit more listening, validation, and acknowledgement, your marriage or partnership is a bit further from failure or more struggle, and a lot closer to being more connected, and you both feeling more whole.
If you need more help or support, I’m here for you.