Communication is often overlooked, yet is the very thing we long for when in a relationship with another. Have you ever been in a room with someone physically but still felt alone? Have you ever felt like two ships passing in the night?
There is a reason for feeling this way and something you can do about it.
There are TWO parts to every conversation. The listener and the speaker. When either party does not feel heard by the other person they will either choose to stop trying to share how the feel, or will act out emotionally in anger or depression. We ALL want to be heard, and especially from those that we love. But why is it sooooooo hard? Let's look into why and try to implement these simple steps into your life.
The speaker is the person needing to be heard, to know they are not alone in how they feel or in what they are experiencing. Do you feel like your conversation is met with it being flipped back onto the listeners thoughts or feelings, or is being met with conflict? If so, maybe you can change a few things to help the listener receive what you are saying and want to listen to what you have to say.
1. When you speak use "I" messages.
Using "I" messages allows the other person to not be put in immediate defense mode making them feel like they have to defend themselves. "YOU" messages will do this, and cause the other person to not want to hear what you are saying, and feel they have to rebuttal and defend themself.
2. Make your message short.
Make your message short enough for the LISTENER to be able to repeat what you are saying before moving onto something new or into more detail. This allows the other person to focus on what is being said and not have to remember a long message.
3. Allow the other person to speak when you feel heard.
Allowing the other person time and space to response and speak themself while you are LISTENING. This makes the conversation a two way street and not all about one person. It allows for the other person to feel heard too.
The listeners job is NOT to think about how to defend themselves. The LISTENERS Job is to put yourself in the other persons shoes and try to understand why they feel the way they are feeling. When it is your turn to speak you will be heard as well as you have listened. So start with the position you are in and serve the other person be choosing to listen first! When it is your turn to listen...
1. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Like I said before, try to understand why they feel the way they feel from THEIR shoes, NOT yours! This will allow the other person to feel heard and understood.
2. When the speaker is done speaking, repeat back to them what they said.
This does not mean that you repeat back to them word for word what they said like a parrot. This means you repeat the story back to them the way they have described it, while again from THEIR shoes.
3. Lastly, do NOT rebuttal.
This is NOT your chance to defend yourself, this is your chance to LOVE the other person MORE than yourself, by trying to understand them! AFTER you have done your job listening and the SPEAKER feels heard by you is it your turn to then communicate what you want to say using "I" messages and not "YOU" messages.
Finally, RINSE and REPEAT until you both feel on the same page and understood by each other!
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Adopted from Markman, H., Stanley, S., & Blumberg, S.L. (1994). Fighting for your marriage. San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers.
Is this you?
.Do you want to know God more? Do you want someone to help you do so? Do you want someone to walk alongside you who has been in your shoes? Do you feel alone? Do you want to experience the healthier and happier you?