Archive for July, 2011

Jul 10 2011

Listening: A First Step in Improving Couple’s Communication

The first goal in my work with couples is to teach a method of speaking and listening using research based communication concepts. These concepts include “I” statements,  non-defensive or active listening, and asking clearly for what you want.It’s more difficult than it looks. The key problem is most of us did not grow up in families where effective communication was either taught or modeled.

As a result, we learned some very bad lessons which keep us unhappy in our relationships.

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Jul 06 2011

Rehearsing: Probably The Most Common Way to Say, “I’m Not Listening to You.”

How do you like it when you are upset about something and your partner won’t even let you finish your train of thought.

They already have their denial or rebuttal already organized and “come at you” with their rationale about why you are wrong.

This is called rehearsal, and it means exactly what it sounds like. The person you want to understand you isn’t really listening.

Rehearsing is a very common listening mistake.

It’s pretty easy to spot too. The listener’s eyes tend to trail off and you can almost see their mind sorting through how they can defend themselves from what they feel is your attack.

Of course, you are only expressing your thoughts and feelings, which ultimately is more important to both of you than who is right.

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Jul 06 2011

Blaming: A Common Communication Mistake in Relationships

If you are blaming your partner, it’s time to find a new way of understanding and explaining your thoughts, feelings and wants.

Blaming damages relationships. It’s pretty simple.

I remember hearing a story about a couple who started therapy. After the first session, the therapist met with each partner individually to get a chance to hear each person’s story more fully.

When the therapist met with the husband, all he could do was complain his wife was the cause of all his problems.

She was “this and that and then some more.”

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