Ever wonder why communication is so hard? Have you felt like you and your partner were speaking different languages when you talk? Have you felt stuck on how to get your partner to understand where you are coming from?
In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses how to get your partner to listen by understanding what makes communication so hard.
IN THIS PODCAST
Communication is actually really hard”.
Communication is hard because 93% of communication is tone of voice & body language--only 7% is what you actually say. No wonder there are miscommunications! Only 7% of your words get a cross to someone else. We all need to learn to make our body language and tone of voice consistent with our words for greater success at communication.
Communication is hard because people listen to respond instead of listening with the goal of listening and understanding. People are often in their heads worrying about how to respond to what their partners are telling them. Because we are all in our heads so much, people often miss the emotional content because they are listening for the logical content of conversations. But love relationships are all about the emotional content of a conversation.
Most people listen to formulate a response to the other person.”
Communication is hard because we don’t say what we really mean or what we really want to protect ourselves from potential rejection. People avoid discussing difficult and emotionally risky conversations. If they do discuss it, then sometimes people will hint at what they mean or want but the real message never gets across because people can’t pick up on hints! Avoiding altogether or hinting at things is often due to wanting to avoid the riskiness of starting a fight or the riskiness of feeling rejected by a partner. So instead of being direct, people often develop protective ways of communicating.
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse discussed by the Gottman Institute are ways we try to protect ourselves in relationships that actually ruin them.
Stonewalling happens when things get too heated and too intense.”
The Gottman's at the Gottman Institute can predict with 90% accuracy that relationships will fail if these communication strategies aren’t changed.
How to get your partner to listen
The first step in getting your partner to listen to you is for you to actively listen to your partner... is for you to stop and think with some intentionality about how you communicate with your partner.”
Just listen to your partner. Repeat back to them what they said. Don’t try to form a response. Just make sure you got what they were saying.
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Thanks for Listening!
Elizabeth Polinsky, MSW, LCSW, is a marriage and couple therapist specializing in working with military members, veterans, and their families. Liz is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides online counseling services throughout Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Virginia (#0904011022), South Carolina (#11302), and Arkansas (#7735-C). She is also licensed as a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in Virginia (#0730000567) under the supervision of Dr. Victoria Holroyd at The Relationship Center at East Beach.
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The Communicate & Connect Podcast
In Communicate & Connect For Military Relationships, I provide educational tips for relationships, communication, and navigating military family life.