As you will find (or already have found) we encourage you very often to listen to your partner while s/he shares something with you. Reflecting together. Listening when someone shares a story from their childhood, an event from the day och their biggest passion. Whatever it is that is being shared, your task is to listen as closely as possible.
Without any judging thoughts or remarks. Listen with your curiosity. Listen to really hear not only what is being said, but perhaps how it is being said, if there are any facial expressions, or body language. Take all of that in.
And do leave all of your preconceptions at the door. Do not let your brain look for the bits of puzzle it needs to confirm your own bias. You will most probably have to work quite hard to let go of all of your preconceptions of what is going to be said. And of what will happen around it. You will have to let go of control. You can instead try to join in the new path that might open up if you can listen non-judging, with a curious mind. And an open heart.
What if you fail? If you make a mistake?
Get up again. Make your self willing to listen. Willing to hear what is being said. Willingness takes you a long, long way.
The PACT technique
There are different techniques to use for developing your communicational skills. One of them is called PACT, and below you will find a bit more about that technique. You can read more in the book “DIY Sex & Relationship Therapy” by Dr Lori Boul and Dr June Kerr.
- Pay attention to what is being said by looking at the person speaking. Show how you are listening, maybe with gestures of nodding your head or that your eyes meet or other emphatically facial expressions. And what is very important, do not interrupt.
- Acknowledge what has been said by restating it in your own words.
- Check from your partner’s response to see if what you said was accurate. If not, then amend what you said and restate. Do not skip this part. Spend the amount of time you need here until the person who was sharing in the first place feel that you have understood what they wanted to share.
- Think before speaking and respond without making accusations, assumptions or judgmental statements.
Another technique that you might have discovered on your own is to have a difficult conversation while you are in the car together (without kids or other passengers) . For some this works very well. You are close to each other, but don’t have to touch nor to have eye contact.
Our favorite one?
They are many, but to share a few we will say ; our joint walks with our dog and our bike rides to the beach in Italy in the summers.
The reflecting part?
That might happen later or in the next stage. When you feel comfortable in listening and in sharing in the non-judgmental way. When you both feel understood. When you can reflect together it can make you see things more easily from someone else´s perspective. It can also help you see a bigger picture. And hopefully help you to not be so serious in life. Give you more room to play. Together.
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