February 28, 2012 – I am pleased to announce that Res Ipsa Moments will host guest bloggers from time to time. Our first guest blogger is Karen McMahon, a colleague and fellow iPEC coach, with a blog entitled “Foster Healthy Communication.”
Consider the Possibilities
Adam J. Krim www.driveconsulting.net
Foster Healthy Communication
Don’t make assumptions. We often react to our perception of our loved one’s actions or words and completely misinterpret their meaning. For instance, “If he loved me, he would take the trash out, it’s all I ask!”, or “the one night I watch sports with the guys she nags at me, she doesn’t appreciate all that I do…” In each of these statements, the speaker is looking for acknowledgement and validation. What might the receiver of these statements hear? Stop and question your interpretations.How true is it that:
- If your spouse does not take out the garbage, he doesn’t love you?
- If your wife is asking you to stay home instead of going out with the guys, that she doesn’t appreciate you?
And for the person making the statement, what are you really trying to say?
- It makes me feel heard and loved when you do little things like taking out the garbage.
- I feel appreciated for what I do and respected when you understand I need my time away from the family.
Instead of talking about our feelings, we end up fighting over money, sex, chores or the kids. Yet, it is always how we feel that is at the core of the problem. If you talk things out candidly and focus on how you feel instead of the details of the situation, small upsets can turn into blessings; opportunities to communicate and grow closer.Be completely present and listen to what your partner is saying – don’t be constructing your response while they speak.To make sure you understood them, repeat to your partner what you heard them say and ask them if you understood them correctly.Often what we hear and what the other person said are two different things. Reflecting back one’s words during a conversation helps to foster clear communication and deeper appreciation of one another.The average couple spends more than 10 times more time watching TV than talking to their spouse about their relationship. Put time aside to talk to you children and partner about what is going on in your relationship. Specifically, how you are feeling and what you want and need from the other and you will see your relationship grow deeper and stronger.We would love to hear your thoughts on the struggles you have had with communication in your marriage.Karen McMahon, Certified Divorce Coach & Master Energy Practitioner, wrote this post. Karen is the founder of KM Life Coaching and co-author of “Navigating Your Divorce: A guide to the Legal, Financial and Emotional Basics,” a free ebook. Karen’s passion is to work with men and women going through the divorce process; helping them navigate the difficulties while focusing on personal growth and embracing the opportunities that lie ahead.