by Angie Lewis
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Communication is an act of being a good listener and understanding what the other person is trying to say. Communication is a useful tool, in speech and in writing, for conveying information to others in everyday transactions.
Anyone can become a skilled communicator and effectively interact with others.
For most of us, it's probably easier to be the talker than the listener. But we should try to really listen to what the other person is saying or at least trying to say. And if we are at all confused at what we are hearing, ask questions.
We're not acting silly because we don't fully understand someone and need to ask more questions. We're acting silly when we think we already know someone and take that person's way of thinking and feelings under our own understanding and dissect it into what we want and think it to be.
Some of us don't know how to convey feelings and thoughts the way we really feel because were afraid of what the other person might think of us. But if we don't explain ourselves and how we feel about something that person will not see us for who we really are.
When we interact with others through faulty communication that could be detrimental to the partnership it causes our spouse to feel like we don't love or care about them. It can be very confusing to the partner who is taking this abuse When we act out aggression in a such a bad way. Our spouse really doesn't understand what we are trying to convey to them, whether it be a complaint or harbored resentment.
It's okay to express angry feelings, but to do it in a way that is going to actually assist both parties in getting the issue resolved. Accusing and finger pointing doesn't get feelings and thoughts out appropriately. What does is directing the emotions at yourself, instead of at your partner.
Do say, "I feel so angry that you spent our vacation money. We both worked hard at saving those funds."
Don't say, "You stupid idiot, what is wrong with you, can't you do anything right?"
Always try to turn the conversation towards self by using phrases like, "I thought," "I feel," "I think," Try not to use finger pointing accusations. this will shut down the listener.
For the talker When dealing with issues within the marriage, I have found that some of us tend to over-react and go on and on and not really get to the point of what's bothering us. When there is a problem that needs discussed, we may bring up past issues, instead of the issue at hand because we feel resentful. It's hard for anyone to understand this kind of behavior and it feels like we are being nagged at instead of talked to. This is why some of us avoid issues and confrontations or walk away when the heat kicks up.
No one wants to be nagged at or put down. Lack of proper communication never solves the problem. More resentment builds and walking away and ignoring the whole issue sounds better and better. But we don't want this. We just need to learn how to react when our partner upsets us.
Even though we all know that men nag too, we also know that men usually only say their complaint once and that's the end of it. We woman on the other hand seem to keep it up. and for good reason, our men aren't hearing us. But why is that? Maybe it is because we have a naggy tone and persistent attitude about our beef.
Men don't want to be nagged at, they want to be talked to, just like we all do. Yelling or behaving nasty will not work. What will is a soft toned voice with a sweet smile. And when trouble does arise in the marriage, and you have a complaint, essentially, men need their wives to come right out with what is bothering them when it happens. Don't wait until the moon is full again. He will have forgot about the issue by then.
For instance, wives, lets say you need your husband to go to the store after he gets off work. You should say something like this, "John, please go to the grocery store after work, I need bread and milk.
Don't say, "John, I'm out of bread and milk and I'm really tired tonight. If you have time after work, if you could, please go to the grocery store. But, if you don't want to, I guess that I can just go in the morning."
If you ask in a round-about way, like you don't care if he goes to the store or not, he'll probably not think it very important to go to the store and buy bread and milk and won't go to the store. He heard you say, if you could and or have time, thereby thinking the grocery errand to not be very important. Because he didn't go to the grocery store for you, you are now feeling resentful towards him. So just come right out with what you have to say or what you want with a nice tone in your voice-and it works!
Men on the other hand, when expressing themselves have a tendency to shorten things too much and think their wives can read their minds. Which isn't true.
Men, if you are talking to your wives about something, it helps to explain in detail what it is you're needing her to do. Women like and need more detail. Specify who, what, when, and where and she'll be happy.
For instance, lets say you wrote her a note asking her if she could drop the hand truck off at Bill's house. Yet, you and your wife know three Bill's and she isn't sure which Bill to give the hand truck to. She calls you at work and you're in a meeting all day and can't come to the phone. She did not drop the hand truck off at Bill's. But you promised to loan the hand truck to Bill. You broke your promise to Bill because you didn't convey proper communication in your note to your wife as to which Bill you were referring to.
Bottom line? Men, we women can't read your mind, so give us more detail. And we women need to cut to the chase and say what we really mean.
FOR THE LISTENER:
Sometimes we hear only what we want to hear and miss out on much of what was really said. We do this in the hopes that we can scamper away from reality so we won't feel the hurt or pain from what we just heard. Or we actually hear what was said, but forget we ever heard it.
Good talkers are usually good listeners. And good listeners will speak what they mean. They explain things in such a way that the other person understands exactly what it is they are trying to convey.
Expressing thoughts and feelings can be hard to do. Especially when we aren't sure what those thoughts are. We should strive to know what it is we want ourselves before saying something that could invariably bring on distorted thinking and hearing.
Sometimes we don't want to accept what the other person is saying and this is where difficulties can arise in marriage. Intolerance of another person's views and ideas stems from self righteous thinking and is wrong. Were all entitled to our own ideas and opinions even between husband and wife. Too many times, we think we're right and our spouse is wrong. But everyone needs the freedom to be oneself -think for oneself and to form opinions without criticism.
Complainers, naggers and disagreeable people have a difficult time listening to what others have to say and usually aren't good at expressing themselves either.
So what can we do? Next time we're in a conversation with our spouse instead of butting in like we always do, we ought to try taking the time to listen to what they have to say. As they talk, we can put our brain muscle to work and try to put our self in their shoes.
Try and understand why your spouse sees things in a different way then yourself. Nine times out of ten, you will understand their position in a better light, instead of being the antagonist.
Remember, when we do not take the time to listen we do not understand and we become obstinately opinionated.
Skilled expression between two people means not to "beat around the bush," but to actually speak out thoughts and convey what we are feeling. Be open and honest with each other. Explain to your spouse why you feel a certain way.
Listen to your spouse and find out why they feel a certain way. Otherwise feelings will not be understood in their entirety and something important that was meant to be said a certain way, will be nowhere to be found and unresolved issues will turn into resentment.
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