More Loving Communications?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2011 22:18
Have you ever seen your conversation escalate into a shouting match in a nanosecond?
Have you ever tried to listen to what other people are saying about themselves, only to hear a complaint or a criticism about yourself instead?
Or, have you ever asked a curious question only to have your partner (boss, parent, child, etc.) react defensively instead of answering your question?
We all listen through filters that have been in place for a very long time. For example, when I was a child, I concluded for a lot of reasons (none of them actually true!) that I was "stupid." For much of my life, I lived in fear of being perceived that way, so I was on high alert for anything that might imply I was less than brilliant!
As a result, I saw it around every corner, and I heard it in almost everything anyone said to me. I often reacted defensively, thinking that would take care of the problem. In fact, it only created more problems and very unsatisfying attempts at conversation.
I realized I even called myself a "stupid idiot" on the tennis courts, in the kitchen, or wherever I would make a very normal mistake. I collapsed learning with stupidity. It was the logic of a child, and what most do not realize, the critical thinking part of the brain is not fully formed until we are in our late twenties!!! It is no wonder we have such skewed views of ourselves.
When I learned to identify my triggers and started listening for what a person was trying to say about him or herself, my life changed dramatically for the better. I learned what intimacy is all about. I learned to listen with kindness and care. I was able to ask truly curious questions and as a result was able to learn so much about those I love.
Getting to this point requires a lot of practice, practice, practice, as well as committed listening by a professional. We like to think of HappyHour as a practice laboratory, where we learn new life skills, communication being one of the most important. Please click here if you would like to read about a real life love story that demonstrates these principles!
If you would like to learn to listen all of the way through, or to speak in a way that invites listening, please consider joining us for our daily conference call. It is called HappyHour for a very good reason!!!