Oct 12 2009

Listening

Practice makes perfect and helps train the brain…it all gets easier the more you do it.Turning down the volume of conversations will help too. We can hear each other pretty well, if we feel like raising our voices, it is likely a time for a time-out. Have a cup of tea, do some breathing, then come back later to the conversation.

When I do listening exercises in session with couples, it helpfsto reduce the levels of conflict and create a warmer space for them to be with each other. There is a little hope that things can get better at home.

At the end of the communication exercise, I ask couples to give each other feedback about what they liked about this new way of talking with each other.

Here are some of the things that couples say to each other:

“I liked the way you expressed your feelings so directly.”

“you listened carefully to what I was saying”

“I liked hearing you reflect back what I was saying to you”

“hearing my words reflected back gave me a chance to hear what I was saying…I could evaluate and clarify my words, so I could say what I really mean”

“when I was listening, I realized how much I would argue and try to win the debate, rather than really listen to what you were saying”

“I realized how much what I usually say is blaming…I am not really talking about what I think, feel and want…rather how much I try to make to blame for my unhappiness”

Using words connected to honest feelings is the only way to create an intimate relationship.

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