Doesn’t feel too good to know a canine ranks higher than you in communication skills, now, does it
Lets take a look at an interesting poll that was done with married people. Also, I’ll give you 3 tips to boost your communication skills with your spouse—it’s the grease of good relations. Read on…
Spot Know About Needy Communication – Why Don’t We?
Associated Press took a fun poll, though the results point to some serious subject matter: a third of married women, and 18 percent of married men, find their pets to be better listeners than their spouse.
At first glance, it’s sort of funny: someone’s spouse actually thinks the poodle has better listening skills?
But scratch the surface, and beneath you’ll find some folks who must feel very lonely in their marriage, that their spouse doesn’t care enough to listen to them.
If you feel disconnected from your spouse or are struggling in your marriage, it’s pretty likely the underlying culprit is a failure to communicate.
Here’s a question for you to think about as you read on: what does communication in your home sound like? Is it “Don’t forget milk at the store,” or “Cut the grass—the neighbors will talk”?
When the communication in your marriage has been reduced to such levels, your marriage is in danger of sliding into intimacy-disconnect territory.
When you enter the front door of your house, you may feel you’re “off duty,” but when you’re with your friends and acquaintances, you’re on your best behavior. You wouldn’t dream of grunting out a half-answer to your boss, but when you get home, it’s Katy-bar-the-door.
And it can drive a wedge between you and your spouse.
Your spouse, more than anyone else, deserves your attention. This is what’s so rewarding about talking to a pet (though a cat may or may not pay attention—depends on their mood that day): they give you a look that says “I really wish I could fully understand what you’re saying, but you know I’m there for you regardless.”
Who can resist that kind of treatment? It feels good to feel valued, heard, validated. It’s a simple gift you can give to your spouse, and that you no doubt would accept with open arms from them.
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Here are three tips for knocking the rust off of your communication skills:
Tip #1: Offer Your Spouse Laser Focus
It may be tempting to sift through the mail or continue to read a magazine while your spouse is talking, but this is far from active listening.
The next time your husband or wife is talking, challenge yourself to give your full attention: maintain eye contact, nod or respond in some other meaningful, physical way that shows you are listening. Really tune in and listen to your spouse’s words and the thoughts and feelings behind those words.
What do you think his or her reaction will be?
Tip #2: Use Your Words Wisely
Maybe you’ve said “You’re not listening to me!” and your spouse responded by parroting back your words. No doubt, they technically heard what you said, but you still may remain unconvinced that what you were communicating to them was really understood.
The next time your spouse is speaking, explain back to him or her—in your own words—what you’ve heard him or her say. It’s an easy way to show your thoughtfulness, because you are taking the time to offer what you heard in your own terms, and are confirming you have interpreted correctly.
Tip #3: Watch the “Yes/No”
Nothing will shut down communication quicker than asking a question that drives the listener to answer with a “yes” or “no.” When asking your spouse about what he or she is saying, try an open-ended question that isn’t meant to guide the answer you want to hear, but allows your spouse to answer openly and honestly in words beyond yes and no.
My best to you in ranking above your pet once again.
Be honest: do you rank above or below the dog in communication skills lately?
Did you and your spouse ever share good communication? How so?
Are you willing to knock the dust off your communication skills to deepen intimacy with your spouse?