“Together, they were screwing this conversation up . . . | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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“Together, they were screwing this conversation up . . .

Uploaded: Feb 25, 2023
. . . faster than it was taking to have it.”

My clients often question/comment on the amount of time it takes to communicate better. I always tell them the investment upfront will save so much time spent dealing with misunderstandings/arguments, feelings of hurt, anger, abandonment, or not being seen or heard. People’s recovery from poor interactions can be from almost immediately to a week! How do you want to spend your time?


If you take the time to RESPOND this way: “I heard you say . . . [fill in what they actually said, not your interpretation of what s/he said. Did I get everything?” I promise your conversation is going to always work better than if you REACT by . . .
. . . Deflecting (Teflon)
. . . Defensiveness
. . . Stonewalling
. . . Contempt
. . . Belittling
. . . Criticism
. . . Disagreeing (of course you are entitled to your view/opinion – you just need to listen, respond with empathy, and then share your POV [point of view).
. . . Arguing

Please let this sink deeply into you: Don’t believe everything you think.

Be curious. You can experiment with any of these opening lines:
Tell me more . . .
Say more about that . . .
What does that mean to you?
How are you feeling?
What are you feeling in your body?
I’m curious about . . .
What is most important in what you’re telling me?
What do you know in yourself about that?
[Repeat back a word or two You’re feeling (sad, anxious, confused) . . .
What does your expression/body posture mean [gently describe what you see?
Can you go deeper with that . . .
How does that play out between us?
How does that show up in our relationship?
That must be [hard, sad, etc. . . .
I’m trying to get a felt-sense of that, can you describe it more . . .
How was that for you?

Your time is precious. Do you want to spend it getting connected with your partner, or irking one another?
What is it worth to you?


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