Listening is a key to communication. That is so easy to say yet sometimes so hard to do.
In my counseling practice I find it is far too easy for couples to shut off listening to one another and only concentrate on what they are going to say next.
- One Upmanship
The only communication getting done is a game of one upmanship. Talking together becomes a competition to see who can get in the best “zinger”. Communications for couples becomes a game of win and lose. Both partners are only interested in scoring the most points or causing the most injury.
Neither spouse takes the time to listen, nor in the end to understand the other’s position, feelings or concerns.
- Wasted Words and Energy
A lot of words are exchanged, a lot of energy wasted and only frustration occurs.
So someone in the middle of any discussion has to take the time to listen, really listen to what the other person has to say.
- The Point is…
The point of good communication is the knowledge that what you have said is accepted and understood by the other person.
Too often we come away from conversations knowing that the other person just didn’t get it and probably never will.
So we go through life never trusting that we will be understood or taken seriously by that other person. If we talk to that person we do not expect anything meaningful to occur.
- The Saddest Place…
The saddest place this can and does occur is within a marriage. Couples go a life time without hearing or being heard.
- Need for Deeper Understanding
We need to have a deep understanding of another’s feelings and experiences. Psychologist Carl Rodgers calls this empathetic understanding. To stand in another person’s shoes and really understand what they are trying to convey.
In the next blog I will show you how I work with couples to open lines of communication.
Frank Walker LMFT