Friday, April 22, 2011

Marriage Class #3

Class number 3 = communication, or at least learning how to communicate.

Seems easy.

Not so much.

You can "communicate" all you want, but if you don't understand your spouse's "style" of communication, it gets you nowhere fast.

I think that Benjamin Franklin had it right.  "Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

I, probably like most people, have difficulty with this.  It's easy to get snarky and let your filters shut off, and really did I just say that in my out-loud voice?  You know what I'm talking about, we've all been there.

Men and women communicate much differently.  Well duh, right?  Uh, guess not.  Because if we KNEW this, and it wasn't an ISSUE, there wouldn't be marriage classes to learn how to COMMUNICATE  better.

Here it is.  In the most broken down form.  For men and for women.

Can you say what you mean and understand what you hear?

I'm 31 years old.  I would think that I would be able to put how I feel and what I mean into fairly easy to understand words by now.

Not.  So.  Much.

I find myself asking more and more, do I need to say this differently to make myself clear?  (okay, this sounds way more snotty than intended, but you get the drift)

And no.  I don't necessarily understand the words that are coming out of your mouth.  As much as I try JUST to listen to your words, I still THINK I know what you mean.  Totally not the case.  I have to stop and remember that there isn't some underlying meaning to what you just said.  Yes.  Totally my bad.  That's how my brain functions...unfortunately.  Umm, hello communication issues!

Which would be why this class is helping!

We learned that there are 3 personal qualities of good communicators.

Warmth = acceptance, and it bolsters confidence.

Genuineness = tone, and what you are doing while you are talking.

Empathy = put yourself in their shoes.  Does the person you are talking to understand what you are saying?

And of course.  The BIG gender difference.  HOW we communicate.  Meaning...WOMEN excel in rapport talk.  Women want to build rapport with another person, become connected by communicating.  MEN excel in report talk.  They want the facts, they give the facts and move on.

Really.  This is why men "seemingly" don't have anything to talk about.  They condense everything into an outline.  They went to work and their day was good.  Women want to know the details and "feelings" of the day.  At work, so and so was wearing this, so and so was late again, this person is having problems with their child, yadda, yadda, yadda.

So if we are clear on what type of communication our spouse is expecting, then we can find the happy medium, and the important things might really be able to be well, communicated!

Well, I know how to talk...onward to communication.

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