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How Effective Is Your Communication?

What do your friends and family say about you?  That you never understand?  That you don't listen?  That you always criticize and judge?
Do you understand what they are saying about you?  

Communication  is defined as the verbal or non-verbal exchange of information, meanings and feelings between two persons, it covers every possible way we can interact.  We may communicate well or poorly, but we cannot not communicate.

Many people don’t realize how little they are listening to their partners;  This could be for several reasons.  You are interpreting what he or she is saying to you based on your own inner world;  beliefs, judgements etc.  Or you can be thinking about how you are going to respond rather than really listening. You get hooked into imposing your thoughts, feelings and ideas onto your partner based on your own reality without being cognisant of the their reality.

An example might be that your partner may be relating a challenge that he or she experienced in her/his day;  Perhaps the boss was being unreasonable which made your partner feel stupid;  You can choose to actively listen, being cognisant of how your partner feels about the event, and giving empathy;  This will make your partner feel acknowledged.  If you go into “fix it” mode, giving an opinion about your partners feelings or actions and then advising what he or she should do next or criticizing him or her about what he or she should have done then your partner would not feel supported.

We all want to be seen and heard unconditionally and to be acknowledged.

Agreements are not necessary but seeing your partner’s point of view is.  We need to fully hear the message our partner is sending so that our partner will feel deeply heard.  The realization that you accurately understand your partner is healing for them and a growth experience for you, even if you do not agree with them.    Taking time to accurately understand not only what your partner says, but what he or she means, deepens your connection and provides a space of safety.

When safety is absent in a relationship it causes an individual to react; This could be withdrawing and shutting down or becoming critical, judgemental and blaming.  This causes disconnection.  Because we are all individuals there will always be frustrations in a relationship.  If we can voice our frustrations in a functional way, we will stay connected.

One of the most effective forms of healing communication between persons in an intimate relationship is the Imago Dialogue (also referred to as “Intentional” dialogue).  Being committed to becoming dialogical is the most important element in creating a conscious partnership.  It means putting your relationship first.  Dialogue helps us understand the unique in the world of our partner;  We learn to see how their world works for them.

To learn more about how the Imago Dialogue book a complimentary no obligation online chat with me.

Imago Relationship Therapy was founded by Harville Hendrix Ph.D and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D


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