As though your life depends on it, you do not listen to understand…only to respond. What if you could find a way to be heard, understood, cared about and get something in your life changed every time you had a conversation? It is possible, but it not a naturally occurring skillset.
What if you could first set up a safe environment in which to have a conversation?
What if you could agree on a topic to talk about and doing it in a safe way?
What if you could be heard and know you have been heard and understood?
What is you could have a difference of opinion about something without being disagreeable?
What if you could know you have been cared about a the end of the conversation?
What if you could ask for and get changes in behavior from your partner as random acts of kindness freely given?
This is a formal exercise and is a learned skill…it does not come naturally.
Two resources available to you to learn this scarce and specially valuable skill.
- Register for one of www.24kGoldMarriage.org Marriage 3.0 weekends. Revive.Restore.Renew
- Sign up for a Safe Conversations workshop https://safeconversations.com/events/list/
Before you rush to judgment about learning these skills remember the old definition of insanity…doing the same things the same ways and expecting different results. You must be willing to adopt new ways of speaking and behaving if you want to be a successful relationship partner.
Please agree to do this. Pease agree with your spouse on a way to stop angry conversations from escalating. Agree on a STOP sign and/or word you both may employ. When conversations become heated and animated, one of you must call a halt. Once the STOP is called, no further words are to be exchanged. Go to neutral corners…be civil to one another…and the one of you who calls STOP must reconvene the conversation within a Safe Conversation within 24 hours.
There are three caveats to which you must answer in the affirmative before you revert to your old ways of ‘tandem monologues’
- Can I see this issue from an airplane? Y or N
- Will I remember this issue in 20 years? Y or N
- Is this really the hill on which I wish to dig a foxhole and fight to the death over this issue? Y or N
If you do not have a YES answer to each of these questions, learn to close your mouth and breathe…just let it go.
Next time we’ll talk more about developing and exercising a Servant’s Heart and keeping husbands and wives together with joy.