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Loving Communication: Sending & Receiving Messages

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posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:26 PM
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from:

arksoffire.com...
.
by Henry Gregory, Jr. Ph.D, Woodstock, Maryland, U.S.A.
April 8, 2015 Community Articles, News
.



1. Listen without interrupting


BoX: This one is so easy to ignore. And so important, not to. Grandstanding vs listening is always costly--at LEAST in the quality of the relationship and the lingering feeling, atmosphere after the exchange.


2. Pay attention (eye contact and body posture should reflect your attention)


BoX: Certainly this is crucial. If one is going to bother being in a DIALOGUE at all, one is wise (vs stupid) to be PRESENT in the dialogue. In most cases, a touch on the hand or shoulder at a fitting time--can add helpful punctuation and fitting bonding.



3. Listen reflectively/actively (repeat to the speaker the message as you understand it). Listen for an opportunity to promote understanding and to connect.


BoX: Robert Carkhuff (& Robert Pierce) wrote a good book about helping and communicating in which he call this skill ACTIVE LISTENING. Paraphrasing back to your dialogue partner the key point(s) you just heard (A) affirm your partner, (B) affirm you heard accurately (C) allows your dialogue partner a chance to clarify anything you may have misheard. It also, (D) demonstrates that you are seriously interested in the dialogue, what your partner has to say and in true understanding.

Book link:
www.amazon.com...=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1460933127&sr=8-10&keywords=carkhuff+the+ar t+of+helping



4. Respond to the speaker, acknowledging what he wants/needs.


BoX: Acknowledging does not necessarily say anything about agreement. It does not say anything about your willingness or ability to meet the need/want. It merely notes that you understand the need/want to be as described--or at least to be perceived, felt about as described.



5. Use “I” statements (to accept responsibility and demonstrate ownership of your response)


BoX: This one is often misconstrued on ATS and elsewhere. This use of "I" doesn't have to do with arrogance. It can actually be a sign of humility. It's arrogance to foist your meaning, emotions, perspective on your listener as though they MUST take them on, accept them as theirs. It is humility to say with your word choice that you are owning your own words and taking responsibility for them--and merely offering them up for consideration.

For example:

"I feel ________________ when you ____________." Is far more productive, responsible, respectful than

"You make me angry." No one has the power to MAKE you feel anything--unless you give them that power. If so, take it back.



6. Make statements, rather than ask questions, to express your viewpoint. (Questions can encourage defensiveness.)


BoX: Questions can come across accusatory--particularly WHY questions. A good marriage counseling exercise is to ask the couple to avoid all questions for 90 days. It IS possible and very productive to do so.

For example:

You can say: "I'm curious about your favored location for dinner tonight." vs "Alright, where do you want to eat?"
or
"I want to understand better your thoughts and feelings about the incident at work today." vs "What happened, this time, at work?"
or
"I'm interested in your response [feelings, thoughts, hopes] regarding my thoughtlessness in coming home so late." etc.



7. Identify and directly express feelings (facilitating an open flow of energy)


BoX: This may be more difficult for men who typically have less brain area devoted to emotional expression. Please be patient with us and help us grow in this sort of expressiveness. Sometimes, it can be helpful to print out a list of "feeling words" to help men and women be more accurately expressive in the midst of a dialogue.

Here's a short list off the top of my head:

1. hurt [often the underlying foundation of anger]
2. angry
3. hopeful
4. hopeless
5. thrilled
6. exhausted
7. challenged
8. wary
9. doubtful
10. troubled
11. humiliated
12. blessed

13. hungry [BTW, avoid a dialogue immediately after work or on an empty stomach. At least have some Orange Juice, a graham cracker or 3. Most men need at least 15-20 minutes to unwind, regroup, reorient before they are more than idiots in a dialogue. Give them that needed space or suffer the unpleasant consequences.]

14. sad, depressed
15. exuberant
16. silly
17. energetic
18. lazy
19. deadened
20. shredded
21. abused
22. trashed
23. sick
24. super
25. used.
26. embarrassed
27. spent
28. helpless
29. energized
30. comforted

Some might quibble that there are only a few basic emotions. For example, they might press that instead of 'feeling' 'trashed,' one must feel sad or hurt. I think the larger variety of words are fitting and useful and don't get real prissy over splitting hairs over what's an 'authentic feeling' and what isn't. If the person expresses that they feel XYZ, I'm inclined to accept that at face value.

Of course, FEELINGS are DIFFERENT from THOUGHTS!

If someone says: "I feel that you're a jerk." --that's not very good communication in more ways than one. That is a THOUGHT. It would be more honest to say: "I think you're a jerk." --Though that would not be very helpful in most cases. It would be more effective and constructive to say:

"When you _[describe the specific observed BEHAVIOR that reminded you of a jerk], I feel embarrassed (angry, hurt, troubled . . . whatever).
"
It is better to say "I think that _____________." --when what you want to express or describe is your thought vs a feeling about whatever.

Anyway--enough of my blather. The topic is an important one and I think the linked article is a useful one.




I think this is a good article on communications with 7 practical points.

edit on 17/4/2016 by BO XIAN because: formatting and additions




posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN
Not saying it is wrong, but those example statements sound so devoid of life in comparison to the questions.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN



1. Listen without interrupting


Thats so important and why the internet is so cool. People have to wait for others to reply, they can't interrupt, deflect, outshout, marginalize others thoughts while they are typing.

Nyah, nyah…


edit on 17-4-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:46 PM
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BO XIAN,

I find this type of stuff creepy and robotic. It seems disingenuous and clinical devoid of the passion found in spontaneous, organic human interaction.

I'm not saying it is incorrect or bereft of genuinely positive techniques for having a meaningful, productive dialogue, it just feels hollow.

Intriguing, nonetheless.


edit on Cpm6Sunday4920163630Sun, 17 Apr 2016 18:49:36 -05002016 by CagliostroTheGreat because:



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:48 PM
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Tiamat384,

Glad I'm not the only one.




posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat
We do need to ask questions...it's absurd to think otherwise. I don't want to sound dead to my future partner, or sound as if I am seeking a business or diplomatic transaction.

This OP tells me to say this:
Sweetheart, I'd like to know what your daily affairs were like.

And NOT ask this:
Honey, how was your day?

Makes me laugh. Hope no one does this.
edit on 17-4-2016 by Tiamat384 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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originally posted by: Tiamat384
a reply to: BO XIAN
Not saying it is wrong, but those example statements sound so devoid of life in comparison to the questions.


Hmmmmm . . . pondering . . .

First thought:

Life at the expense of other folks 'life' seems a bit . . . counter-productive to the whole ideal of !LIFE!, to me.

Yet, you probably have a point . . . It was a quick listing of just an option or 3.

One can inject more emotion, more 'life' at any point.

Let me see what I could add:

You can say: "I'm curious about your favored location for dinner tonight." vs "Alright, where do you want to eat?"

"I'm much more interested in your choice for eating location tonight than having a preference myself. My greatest joy would be to see you happy about that."

or
"I want to understand better your thoughts and feelings about the incident at work today." vs "What happened, this time, at work?"

"That incident at work sounded really troublesome. I'm keenly interested in your responses--good and/or bad. I really want you to be at peace about it--however long it takes. I'm very willing to listen about it and help you sort it out, lay it comfortably to rest. You are important in my life and I hate to see you stressed."

or
"I'm interested in your response [feelings, thoughts, hopes] regarding my thoughtlessness in coming home so late." etc.

"I'm keenly interested in all your feelings about my coming home late. You really are the highest priority in my daily life, short of God. I do sincerely want to protect family time with you. I honestly do want to prevent uncomfortable feelings between us. I hate doing coming home late. Maybe I need to look at my workaholism more seriously."

Are those any better?



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:05 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: BO XIAN



1. Listen without interrupting


Thats so important and why the internet is so cool. People have to wait for others to reply, they can't interrupt, deflect, outshout, marginalize others thoughts while they are typing.


I have often thought that

that very reason is one of the key aspects of why texting and text based communications are so popular--even with men--who are usually not all that verbally expressive, on average . . . unless it's a group of guys about work, sports or sex. LOL.

However, even old dogs CAN learn new tricks.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN
I assume the colored words are the alternates? What I mean is, is that the questions asked in the OP are not the natural ways of asking a question, such as "What happened, this time, at work?"

People do not ask in this manner as it sounds awkward. People would sooner say and ask, "Hello dear(or whatever pet name or actual name), how was your day at work?" This way of question is far superior to both the statement and question versions in the OP because they natural and not accusatory.

Also I fail to see your reasoning. Where is this true in what I have said? :Life at the expense of other folks 'life' seems a bit . . . counter-productive to the whole ideal of !LIFE!, to me.

edit on 17-4-2016 by Tiamat384 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:10 PM
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BO XIAN,

I'm just thinking: who talks like that? Like, ever? Especially to someone as close to them as a family member or significant other.

I think I understand where some wires got crossed: Your underlying premise is solid. Perhaps, however, you just have a hard time writing organic dialogue.

Let me tell you, if someone I loved started talking like that I would scream "pod person"!




posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:11 PM
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originally posted by: CagliostroTheGreat
BO XIAN,

I find this type of stuff creepy and robotic. It seems disingenuous and clinical devoid of the passion found in spontaneous, organic human interaction.



imho, THAT'S entirely up to the implementation of the suggestions. It certainly CAN be robotic IF the folks attempting to practice such have not gone beyond rote memorization and robotic application. That can happen when folks are insecure and not confident--or just don't 'get it.'

However, even in those cases, IF they set 90 days as a goal of practicing such improved communication strategies and goals, I'm confident that a huge majority of them will have inserted a very adequate and fitting amount of life and emotion into it all by the end of the 90 days--and probably by the end of the first week. But 90 days is a good time to set for changed habits to have really taken root.



I'm not saying it is incorrect or bereft of genuinely positive techniques for having a meaningful, productive dialogue, it just feels hollow.

Intriguing, nonetheless.


Thx Thanks to one and all for y'all's comments.

LOTS of things start out hollow--learning to paint in oils. pottery, piano. One is learning the basic skills. Once the basic skills are learned, then one can begin to relax and inject spontaneity and true creativity into the efforts. But first, the basic skills must be truly learned--for most people.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:20 PM
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originally posted by: Tiamat384
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat
We do need to ask questions...it's absurd to think otherwise. I don't want to sound dead to my future partner, or sound as if I am seeking a business or diplomatic transaction.


The 90 day exercise for couples in therapy is just that. An extended exercise. I have found it, actually, as a better way to live--on average. But for others--even 10-30 days would be life and relationship changing for the better.

I happened to have a housemate for a number of years who had 2 very serious character disorders. That style of communication was very helpful in dealing with that person. Questions would have easily sent them into more psychotic breaks than occurred as was.

The WHY and other DEMANDING questions, tones, attitudes, habits are really--very often--quite destructive to the quality of the relationship, if not to the relationship as a whole. They tend to come out of insecurity and to trigger insecure, dysfunctional responses in the other person--ON AVERAGE.





This OP tells me to say this:
Sweetheart, I'd like to know what your daily affairs were like.


Uhhhhh . . . no. I don't believe I TOLD you to say THAT. I suggested that statements were, on average, better than accusatory sounding questions.



And NOT ask this:
Honey, how was your day?


I wonder how many women get:

"Fine." or "OK." in response--end of discussion. I think, on average, for most men, women have to be a bit more creative in getting their man to share his thoughts and particularly his emotions about his day.

"I'm very interested in the more interesting points of your day. I like to think and feel I understand your life experiences well during the times we are not together."

or

"When you share your daily work experiences with me--even a few examples, I feel closer to you and that leave me wanting to get physical with you more often."

Does that sound lifeless?

I bet it wouldn't to the man--particularly if she had a twinkle in her eye.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN
Actually yes that does sound lifeless.

How the hell is "Honey, how was your day" accusatory?!!?!
edit on 17-4-2016 by Tiamat384 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:26 PM
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originally posted by: Tiamat384
a reply to: BO XIAN
I assume the colored words are the alternates? What I mean is, is that the questions asked in the OP are not the natural ways of asking a question, such as "What happened, this time, at work?"


The teal colored parts are quotes from the ref'd article.



People do not ask in this manner as it sounds awkward. People would sooner say and ask, "Hello dear(or whatever pet name or actual name), how was your day at work?" This way of question is far superior to both the statement and question versions in the OP because they natural and not accusatory.


Uhhhhhhhhhh . . . I don't think I'm succeeding in communicating very well, here, yet.

The NO QUESTIONS thing is a COMMUNICATIONS EXERCISE. It does not have to be a way of life--though I have found it to be very constructive and helpful as A WAY OF LIFE.

It is designed to help couple members

1. Put more thought into how they word things, put things to their partner.
2. Put things as thoughtfully as possible.
3. Put themselves in the other person's place--gain some empathy--before mouthing off.

Usually, gaining the 1-3 skills at a much higher level CAN SAVE A MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIP that was headed for total crash and burn--END.




Also I fail to see your reasoning. Where is this true in what I have said? :Life at the expense of other folks 'life' seems a bit . . . counter-productive to the whole ideal of !LIFE!, to me.


I did not mean to infer you had said that.

I was spring-boarding off your statement and taking it to a logical ultimate conclusion.

WHEN the "life" in a particular couple's communication habits has left both parties feeling that they are at dagger points; that every conversation leaves them feeling like the other person had them by the emotional throat--SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE.

This EXERCISE is a great way to change that relationship-destroying set of communication habits for the better.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:29 PM
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BO XIAN


"When you share your daily work experiences with me--even a few examples, I feel closer to you and that leave me wanting to get physical with you more often."

Does that sound lifeless?


I gotta be honest, yes it sounds very lifeless, very robotic. Creepy, even. If my significant other ever said to me, "it leaves me wanting to get physical more often." I would be like, "uhhh, what?"

But like I said I think there is just a hang-up with the way you write dialogue. The techniques themselves seem operationally sound.

I will likely try and implement some of these techniques with loved ones with whom have trouble communicating adequately and gauge the response using these techniques vs. responses gleaned without their use. Perhaps they will be effective.
edit on Cpm7Sunday3320164330Sun, 17 Apr 2016 19:33:43 -05002016 by CagliostroTheGreat because: edit to add



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

I like to say "I think........" because it takes responsibility and also it expresses my opinion AS an opinion. I'm not saying it's a FACT..... I'm saying I think it.

My Darlin' and me have various "break" words. We don't fight, but we disagree sometimes. If it becomes heated, either one of us might say "mango time", which always breaks the mood and also cracks us up. Then, after we've had a lovely mango beverage, we usually settle down to a more calm talk about whatever was bothering us. We have a few keywords that have evolved over our 26 years of marriage.

It works. For us. Thanks for the thread.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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originally posted by: CagliostroTheGreat
BO XIAN,

I'm just thinking: who talks like that? Like, ever? Especially to someone as close to them as a family member or significant other.


Actually, I've known probably 50-100 people who talk roughly like that. And, they have had the best relationships of the couples I've known. . . . as in emotionally closest; most mutually supportive and respectful; most thrilling; most sexually active . . . etc.



I think I understand where some wires got crossed: Your underlying premise is solid. Perhaps, however, you just have a hard time writing organic dialogue.


Conceivable. However, I've had dozens of counseling clients and hundreds of students find such suggestions very very helpful.



Let me tell you, if someone I loved started talking like that I would scream "pod person"!


LOLOLOL.

I think something may be lost in this text only exchange. It matters a whole lot how the tone of voice is and the facial expression stuff is--and other non-verbals.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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originally posted by: Tiamat384
a reply to: BO XIAN
Actually yes that does sound lifeless.

How the hell is "Honey, how was your day" accusatory?!!?!


It may not be IN A PARTICULAR RELATIONSHIP.

On the other hand,

It was exactly that in a number of relationships that came to me for counseling.

Again . . . this is an EXERCISE.

IF the relationship communication exercise does NOT FIT

YOUR relationship(s), situation--

BY ALL MEANS--YOU ARE MOST WELCOME TO IGNORE IT! LOL.

I really fail to see the need to be so . . . averse to it. LOL.

edit on 17/4/2016 by BO XIAN because: added



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:37 PM
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originally posted by: CagliostroTheGreat

I gotta be honest, yes it sounds very lifeless, very robotic. Creepy, even. If my significant other ever said to me, "it leaves me wanting to get physical more often." I would be like, "uhhh, what?"
[/quote[

Then by all means, substitute what works better for you!

Would you prefer: " . . . it leaves me feeling more like wrapping my body around your [d__k]." ???



But like I said I think there is just a hang-up with the way you write dialogue. The techniques themselves seem operationally sound.


THANKS MUCH.



I will likely try and implement some of these techniques with loved ones with whom have trouble communicating adequately and gauge the response using these techniques vs. responses gleaned without their use. Perhaps they will be effective.


I'd love to get a follow-up report therefrom!
Thx for your kind replies.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:37 PM
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a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat
Are you my twin?



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