Couples Communication: If He’s not Listening, are You Communicating?

This is kind of like the ‘tree-falling-in-the- woods’ question. You know… does anybody hear it?

Consider the differences.  Simply talking is not communicating and hearing may not involve listening.  Don’t we ALL know that? Even bad communication requires a sender and receiver. So a speaker without any listeners cannot be communicating— anything. Good communicators do not talk when no one is listening and still expect results.

Let’s move on.  Couples often struggle with communication.  Conflict erupts rapidly and resolution can be stubborn, especially when they get into arguments about intentions and interpretation—-the scene of  “that’s-not what-I-meant-but-oh-that’s-what-you-said”. Have you had someone insist they know what you meant better than you do—that their interpretation of what you said trumps your intention? Frustrating!

If you are the speaker, no matter how effective you are at communicating in the workplace or with friends, if your significant other or spouse does not “get it”— resist pointing fingers. S/he is not the only poor communicator. You also are.

Like the tango, it takes two to communicate—both well and badly.

The next time you are itching to blame or accuse the other of being the poor communicator in your relationship, slow down and stare into the mirror.  It reflects back at you. Battle temptation to take that route. Mutter to yourself, even if unconvincingly, “I have not communicated until what I meant is what my partner understood.”

Humility is very becoming in these circumstances.


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 © Copyright 2012 P.H. Pickett, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

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