Ever notice how quickly a conversation between you and your spouse can go downhill with just a few poorly chosen words?
Are your conversations a war of words or a test of silence?
Now, there are ways to improve and restore great communication. The following shows how.
ONLY FOR MEN: John, a 43-year-old management consultant, and his wife Doris, a 39-year-old illustrator, are farther away due to communication problems. One day during a time of non-contradiction, John brought Doris aside and looked at him firmly, but gently, and asked him, “Doris, have I ever made you feel that you don’t deserve to listen?” With that, Doris’s eyes dropped attention to John’s attention and interest.
When his body language, more than his words, showed that he might have made him feel that way on many occasions, John insisted and said, “Doris, look at me, please. Just because I don’t know how to listen to you the right way doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be listened to. Don’t let anyone, including me, ever make you feel that you don’t deserve to listen, because that’s the way it is, and I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel that. “
Now Doris wants to accept John, so things are going well. However, if you try this with your wife and she jumps down your throat with, “Of course that’s right. You’re one of the worst listeners I know!” do not be discouraged. Take a deep breath and answer: “I know. That’s why I apologize for that now. You don’t deserve to be ignored like that.” Chances are that he or she will be calmer and, one or two days later, can apologize for his hostility and even thank you for your attitude.
ONLY FOR WOMEN: Another example involves Nancy, a 51-year-old mother of two grown children, and her husband Ted, a 53-year-old plumber. As in the example above, they become distant due to interference in communication. One day, Nancy brought Ted aside, looked straight into his eyes and asked him: “Ted, have I ever made you feel that I don’t respect you or admire you or that I have stopped thinking that you are the greatest man I know and I am fortunate to have you in my life ? “
Needless to say, Ted was stunned and speechless, showing, as in the previous example, that yes, Nancy had caused her to have exactly that negative feeling. Nancy persisted and continued: “Ted, just because I get stressed and sometimes bring it to you, because you’re my safety valve, doesn’t mean I don’t thank my lucky star for having you in my life. And sorry if I make you feel worse about yourself. “
Starting a conversation this way is very successful because when there is tension between you and someone else, the only thing that will not make self-defense higher is a sincere apology. Apology also makes the person who apologizes feel better because it helps melt the cold and bitterness in a …