Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Conversation Turn-Around

"I wonder what I should make for dinner?" I asked my husband.

"Nothing."

"Why?"

"We're going to my parents. I told you that."

"No, you didn't."

"I was on the phone with my mom, so I thought you figured that out."

"But, you didn't tell me."

"Well, there were a number of phone calls between my mom and my sister regarding the time. I thought you were listening."

"No, I wasn't listening to your phone call, so how was I to know?" I asked, agitatedly.

This was a conversation that was becoming untied, and quickly.

Then, I got it!

"Next time, please let me know when we've been invited out. I'd like to feel like I'm part of the decision."

"Okay."

How much effort do we use to defend, attack or find excuses, rather than just accept and correct?

By cutting the strings that tie us to out-dated modes of expression, and weaving in new ways to communicate, we become more adept at honouring ourselves and the listener. The other person may not always agree, but we can feel good about the way in which we handled the situation.

This is a skill that I'm improving, thanks to the power and courage of my heart. Communication can break down under stress. We may say things we regret, or we don't say them well. The true message gets lost under a blanket of hurts, regrets and past experiences.

With a short, heart-driven pause, the stress-cycle is interrupted and a different part of the brain is activated. One that allows you to present your thoughts and views logically and coherently.

What did you notice about the last two lines of the interchange between my husband and I? When have you had conversation turn-arounds? How did you feel?

Thanks to Ilker for this image!

2 comments:

  1. I liked the way the conversation concluded but I am stumped for something to say about my experience in these kinds of situations. To start with, there is hardly any major discussions going on in my life at the moment. Those that do are to do with my computer and I abdicate the responsibility to my son and there is just no discussion there other than to explain what my problem is. He solves it, gives a big grin and says, there it is that simple and I say, thank you my wonderful son and that is that. With my father, it is usually, okay, I shall do it for you or get it for you or some such response to a request for something or the other. Period. Nice way to live I think!

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  2. Be thankful you have a husband to talk to - or indeed niggle about. Having spent the last 12 years a widow and never knowing my in-laws (they were long dead when I met my husband)I actually found the post amusing. So often we forget that the foibles are all part of the 'package' we fell in love with in the first place.

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