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#79454 - 03/09/11 03:59 PM Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Hello All, I really don't think there are a lot more topics - perhaps 3. And then I will have shared the whole thing. I don't thing a great relationship is an endless learning process, hooray! Seems kind of a finite set of notions, to me.

Lately I have been sharing more and more about communication skills. I thought I might as well create a single place to catch all these chats. (Here's I think a good one between fddlr3 and me.)

I think of communication in couples as the general heading for data passing back and forth. I think of it as the most frequent activity that couples engage in and the glue that makes good relationships good and the thorns that make bad relationships bad. I see it as the primary tools for shifting or recovering a bad relationship. In this case "good" means a relationship that both people want to be in. By "bad" I mean one where one or the other or both partners want more or less frantically to improve things, or where one or both partners want to get the heck away.

In building a great relationship I think of communication as having several simultaneous goals but prioritized this way:

  1. First, to facilitate both people feeling SAFE when they are together - Lizards both calm.
  2. Secondly, to facilitate the flow of data so that both people enjoy being together - no one feels overwhelmed, and no one feels abandoned.
  3. Thirdly both feel respected even admired and encouraged for their uniqueness -- ok to disagree.
  4. Both people feel fully heard and listened to.
  5. Both people feel understood, regularly and reliably.
  6. All these goals are achieved with little effort as the relative skills are well learned.


So I'll deal with these one at a time.

1) Safety. My Topic #1. Gotta have it, cuz the Lizards in both people (all people present) will erupt and take over the space. Or they will cause people to lay low, not listening, and building resentment. Trick here is to have various specific strategies to recognize when your Lizard or someone else's Lizard is "losing it". When either of you make that determination, stop communication, and move to reassure those Lizards.

Practical tools to recognize Lizards having trouble involve familiarizing yourself with each other's and your own FLEE, FREEZE, SUBMIT, FIGHT actions. For example: my wife recognizes that when my Lizard starts to get active, my voice pitch rises rapidly. But there are lots and lots of generic tools. For example: Watch your breathing. Lizards tend to restrict breathing. If my Lizard starts to panic, I hold my breath a bit. If my Lizard notices my wife's Lizard starting to panic, I will hold my breath a bit.

Practical things that reassure Lizards are lots and lots. But best are the actions or gestures that are specific to the Lizards in the room. TimeOuts is an example of one of the most potent tools to calm Lizards. Lizard's seem to love repetition, structure, calmness, quiet, cozy and nurturing stuff like food. A great tool is to recognize that Lizards are more active when you are hungry. So feed 'em. My writings on Caring Behaviors or Caring Days can help a couple develop a catalog of things that work.

Generally I have found that pointing a finger at someone comes across as FIGHTING. So when I think my partner's Lizard is activating, I just say, "Wow, things are just going a bit fast for me. I wanna take a break, and pick this up in ...2 hours." I do not say, "Your Lizard is freaking, so I will go away for 2 hours." I tried that. Didn't work.

The bottom line, don't try to communicate, share, etc. when Lizards are active. Calm them damn Lizards! first!

2) Facilitate the flow of communication so as both feel reliably connected. This is my Topic #2. Mostly this means learning to slow down your mouth or your partner's mouth. Talking too slow can be annoying. Talking too fast is just plain destructive and stupid. The trick is to a) develop strategies to quickly identify one of you who is overloaded, or better yet, about to be overloaded and b) develop strategies to put spaces in your togetherness, to slow your words or phrases down to a speed that is just slightly slower than the slowest person present needs.

A useful tool if you are talking is to monitor your partner's non-verbals. This doesn't always work, cuz lots of people know how to say, "Yeah, Yeah" or "I hear you" when they are really overloaded. This is a situation where learning Mirroring can help. When you wonder if your partner is overhwelmed, you can ask them to start Mirroring you. If they can't Mirror or won't mirror, I think you should not be talking. Take a TimeOut.

A useful tool if you are the listener is to track your own brain and see if you can Mirror your partner's words. If the words are coming too fast for you, STOP THEM. Ask them to slow down or start mirroring. Many people are taught to not interrupt a speaker. I think this is a nutty idea. I think there are several situations where not interrupting is rude. This is one of them.

The practical tools for dealing with reliable connection, involve slowing down, inserting more time between sentences, phrases or paragraphs, or inserting time between talking at all. This is the realm of the TIMEOUT, which is I believe the essential skill of Reliable Membership.

3) Being intentionally respectful to everyone present. To me this is all about MasterTalk and each of your attitudes of positive regard for both your partner and yourself. I covered this in Topic #3 on Bullying. "A Real Man does not allow anyone to be disrespected in his presence," said one of my mentors. Another said, "Never allow anyone ever to disrespect you, ever." Learning how to share reciprocally, to treasure both people and sharing seems a great skill. This is the arena of Empathy. Also learning how to respond to intentional or unintentional MasterTalk (either active or passive) is for me a treasured set of tools. As this tends to be a core problem in the United States, I will continue to speak about this one.

4)Making your partner feel heard. Insisting that you get to feel heard. I am comfortable with the idea that all humans want and need to be heard and feel heard. For me to feel heard I think I have two choices: a) I can live in a fantasy world that everyone likes to listen to me like a radio talkshow host with no one on the phone, or b)the person in front of me is going to have to do some work. Tis not enough that they listen, they have to prove it or I am back to solution a, living in a fantasy.

But what work to they have to do to prove they are listening? Well this is an art that starts with discipline. People can learn this in lots of ways. I love Mirroring as a teaching tool. After you've Mirrored someone a couple of thousand times, you will at a gut level know what the work is and how to do it with almost not effort at all.

And remember this has to eventually be done reciprocally. If you listen to your partner and prove it, they will feel listened to. But if they won't listen to you or prove it, the relationship will fail. At about the time your resentment overflows. But if you both make each other feel heard, no resentment. Cool.

5) Here's time for the skills of PreValidating and Validating. Tis all Topic #4. Just become an expert is my advice. You can understand why anyone does anything if a) they tell you and b) you listen; cuz they all make sense all the time.

So the clue is to learn all the skills, get really good at them, and voila, you will be an expert communicator, I believe.



Edited by AlTurtle (03/09/11 11:15 PM)
Edit Reason: minor fixes
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#80209 - 03/11/11 08:05 AM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
Edmond Dantes
Member

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I'd like to hear more about how to effectively handle Mastertalk, Al.

The more familiar I become with the topic, the more I feel it helps explain why I walk around with a slight knot in my stomach most of the time and sometimes find basic human interaction slightly exhausting.

Thank you so much for sharing your perspectives on these topics.

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#80322 - 03/11/11 12:06 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'd like to hear more about how to effectively handle Mastertalk, Al.
I will continue to write on this. fddlr3 have been chatting in detail about this over on Topic 2 starting around this posting. . Probably best to do a Search on the word MasterTalk. I try to use the word in that form with two capitals so people can find it. You might also try Searching for that word on my website. Try this link.


Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The more familiar I become with the topic, the more I feel it helps explain why I walk around with a slight knot in my stomach most of the time and sometimes find basic human interaction slightly exhausting.
I may have experienced something similar. In around 2000 when Sandra and I nailed down this almost objective language form, MasterTalk, we found that we would see it everywhere. We seemed surrounded by its use. We started a bit of panic-ing cuz we now could not not see it. Before we'd not even noticed it.

Many hundreds of people have shared their similar experiences. Is it better to be blind to this?

The good news is that it seems possible to address and remove from your life or at least to manage. Can't stop politicians and news people from using it. Can remove it from your personal close relationships. Can reduce it from many interactions with friends, seemingly. Can take action.

And I believe life is mucho more relaxed (Lizard loves this) without it.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#80387 - 03/11/11 02:08 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
I thought I would suggest a bit of reading for all of you who show up on this thread.

I make an assumption (I know all about assumptions smile ) that anyone joining Topic #7 has already read all my stuff/my articles mentioned at the beginning of Topics 1-6. This is kind of an advanced seminar. I don't make the assumption cuz I believe you will have read them. I make that assumption, as I write or answer questions, that you have a background in the jargon I use. Yes, I found I had to use jargon to organize my thinking. I even have posted a Glossary of my terms. I did not invent terms to be difficult. Actually Sandra and I developed a kind of common dictionary to make communication easy. We would often stop and query, "What I mean by that word is.... What do you mean by it?" Over time we just settled on pretty similar definitions for all the critical words we use. (Critical terms are like Validation, PreValidation, MasterTalk, Empathy, Feeling, Mirroring, Passivity, Boundary or Boundary Skills, etc.) And so I use my terms/words/jargon because it is easy for me. Helps me to think and make good decisions.

If this thread is your first meeting with me, I feel certain you will feel lost or confused.

I think this is a situation a bit like the one faced by my men's group when a new member joins - which happens often.
  • The core group fundamental is a baseline of PreValidation, but a new member won't know what the hell that term refers to.
  • The next core is that everyone has a Lizard and keeping Lizard's calm is a first-to-do thingy. But a new member may never have heard the term "Lizard."
  • We use many tactics to avoid arguing and bullying either in the group or between members and their partners/kids at home. Most people who arrive come from a world where arguing is the norm. etc.
I am aware that we use shorthand phrases or jargon which oldtimers seem to be fluent in, but newbies often feel lost. E.g. The most popular phrase is "All people make sense all the time."

This note is just to let your know where I am coming from and to commiserate a bit with the tasks before you late joiners. I want thank Edmond Dantes for reminding me of this.

Fortunately you can catch up at any time.

_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95360 - 04/17/11 12:10 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
BIG Enchilada!

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Dilemma in a nutshell:

How do you get folks to hear what YOU are saying, instead of what THEY are thinking?

This seems part of the challenge of effective communicating (for me.) Ever been in a circumstance where you feel you are deliberately being mis-interpreted, despite best efforts? I have. How does one go about fixing this?
Great focusing on a challenge! I love making a problem clear and simple. I'll try a restatement of your statement. How to get them to listen to you?

First thought is that I believe "wanting to be listened to" is universal to humans. Babies are born with this expectation from their caretakers. Listening has to be taught/learned by the caretakers - your partner/you.

Quickee answer:
  1. They have to know how to go about it.
  2. They have to know you want it.
  3. They have to have an incentive to do it.


I started a long answer, cuz I have lived through the solutions, and then stopped. Maybe this is all you want?

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

I started a long answer, cuz I have lived through the solutions, and then stopped. Maybe this is all you want?


Me??
Heck, Al, please share the whole enchilada, if you would!

I think this is a biggie.

BTW, getting them to listen to me is the first step, for sure. I think that step is the same as getting them to "pay attention to me and what I want to say," what idea I want to get across.
I would like to take this challenge one step further though, and that is to get them to not only listen, but to hear me, i.e. "get it right" (my "right"), then I will have felt "heard," felt understood.


I moved this discussion over to Topic #7 cuz you asked, TC, for the big enchilada. Over here in my Whiteboard I can share more freely, as I think people are aware this is all my stuff over here. Tis not The Truth, but it is congruently My Truth.

I will post more in a bit when I have time.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95363 - 04/17/11 12:52 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
I would like to take this challenge one step further though, and that is to get them to not only listen, but to hear me, i.e. "get it right" (my "right"), then I will have felt "heard," felt understood.


TC, I would like to keep this subject focused on solving this problem in a family, with your partner, or with your kids. General or abstract applications, I fear, can distract us into thinking about widely different situations (such as online communication).

Is that ok with you?
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95386 - 04/17/11 02:19 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Is that ok with you?


That would be perfect.
My goal, in seeking clarity on this issue, has to do with relationships in which we feel we have a (big) stake. That would be spouses, family, good friends, maybe stretched to include our bosses(?). Basically, any vested relationship with which I/we are involved, and in which the outcome of communication makes a difference, or has an impact on our well-being (and that of the relationship.)

I was not thinking along the lines of a general audience to pay attention to my worldview (as in pontificating personal beliefs, i.e. a 'soapbox.')

My interest is in those core relationships that define our world/s in an ongoing way. I'm guessing once I've perfected those relationships, my skills would be easily generalizable to less significant (read: less 'emotionally charged') circumstances.

Thank you!


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#95392 - 04/17/11 02:47 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
That would be perfect.My interest is in those core relationships that define our world/s in an ongoing way. I'm guessing once I've perfected those relationships, my skills would be easily generalizable to less significant (read: less 'emotionally charged') circumstances.
Great. That was my experience.

My training as a counselor was often times useless when applied to my wife or kids or boss.

However, what I learned with/from my wife was immediately valuable when applied to everyone else, completely changed the way I did counseling, and the way I wrote and posted online.

Couple of one-liners I figured out:

"If it worked with her, it would work anywhere."

"The most difficult communication challenge is with your committed partner. Everyone else is easier - a piece-of-cake."

A set of corollaries. People who can communicate well at work, may have terrible home lives. People who preach or teach, may have horrible relationships at home. Or, best way to improve your communication skills with online people, work people, employees, etc, is to build a great communication system at home with your partner.

Fun to look around in the media and politics. People who do great at communicating in general will probably have great partnerships at home. Those who don't have great partnerships at home, those who "divorce" often, should probably be suspect when they open their mouthes. smile

Tis what I have found.

I think we might be at the same starting place, you and I, TC. Ready to go on?
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95431 - 04/17/11 05:45 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
"The most difficult communication challenge is with your committed partner. Everyone else is easier - a piece-of-cake."

A set of corollaries. People who can communicate well at work, may have terrible home lives. People who preach or teach, may have horrible relationships at home. Or, best way to improve your communication skills with online people, work people, employees, etc, is to build a great communication system at home with your partner.

Fun to look around in the media and politics. People who do great at communicating in general will probably have great partnerships at home. Those who don't have great partnerships at home, those who "divorce" often, should probably be suspect when they open their mouthes. smile

Tis what I have found.

I think we might be at the same starting place, you and I, TC. Ready to go on?


I am all ears, Al!

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#95476 - 04/17/11 08:48 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
I will try to be methodical.

I believe all god's chilluns want to "feel heard" and "feel understood". I finally gave up fighting the confusing words in psychology and defined these two thingies/events as feelings or emotions.

Feeling heard or feeling understood occur somewhere inside people as a relief, as a joy, that can be almost orgasmic. "My God, you understand me!!!".

The reverse seems also true. My first visual memory from childhood is of lying on my back on the surface of a bassinet, crying and crying and crying, cuz "my mommy" wouldn't pick me up. I was cold and scared. She was standing just outside the room in the hall. I could see her shadow. She was waiting for, teaching, me to stop crying. I was in excruciating pain. I was needy and she "wouldn't listen." That little guy must have been around 6 months old. I recall that as I write this.

How many times in my life with partners have I cried myself to sleep because "she didn't hear me" "she didn't listen!" How many times did I "talk at her" at two AM, just get that tiny point across, and she would suddenly go to sleep, leaving me hanging in excruciating pain.

This isn't the stuff of being rejected by a boss or a friend - tho similar. I think this is big.

So, let's put this desire for these feelings (being heard, being understood) in everyone, and be clear that these feelings somehow involve connecting or not-connecting to other people.

What you are speaking of, TC, I think is normal in everyone.

Now I think the illusion/delusion is that "they give it to you." They do something and you feel heard, you feel understood or you feel not heard or feel misunderstood, or in the middle. The truth, seems to me, as with all emotions, you give those feelings to yourself when you see or sense a something that they do. There is a triggering effect.

The reason I am so specific about this, is that often I "feel heard" when no one is listening. Watch teachers and they can easily think you are listening, when you are daydreaming about something else. I once saw a radio personality give a half hour show, while no transmitter was turned on. Didn't slow him down.

Right now, I am imagining you are listening and I am "feeling heard" a bit, even tho I know I have not sent this posting yet, so you cannot be listening. Still I am feeling heard. Nice illusion.

But, I don't think you are wanting to focus on illusions. I think you want to know how to get to "feel heard, feel understood" reliably by your partner with whom you often feel mis-heard or mis-understood at this point.. Who seems to "willfully mis-hear or mis-understand." What do they need to do? What can you do about it?

OK so far? Any confusion so far?

I am going back to my list of three things you need to do, soon.

  1. They have to know how to go about it.
  2. They have to know you want it.
  3. They have to have an incentive to do it.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

Top
#95511 - 04/17/11 11:00 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
I am going this slow to make sure that I include clear Boundaries as well as PreValidation into my understanding of what to do.

Now, if everyone wants to feel heard and feel understand and if they will have those feelings when someone does "the right thing", what the heck is the "right thing to do," and how do you get someone to do it.

The cool thing is that everyone recognizes the right thing when it is done. "You know it when you see it". But it is different for everyone all the time. The receiver knows it, but the other person has to do it. Well, that's messy. What is it?

This is what I call an example of an interpersonal skill: a thing I do that has an specific effect on the other person. A thing they do that has a specific effect on me. I said this was messy. smile Success for me is measured by the effect in the other. And the reverse.

And I think there are two interpersonal skills: a) make 'em feel heard and b) make 'em feel understood. And you, TC, want to get your partner to do both. Oh. and your partner wants you to do both. Reliably.


Ok. Now set all this in the background and let me face the issue of getting someone to do these things: getting 'em to do what it takes to make me feel heard, and make me feel understood.

How do I find a skilled person? And how do I get 'em to do it?

(Simplest thing is to hire one. A good counselor "should" be good at those skills. Lots of other trained people "should" be good at them. Hire one.)

The easiest way to learn these skills is to take 'em in as you are being raised. ("Easiest way to learn a foreign language is to be raised in a family that speaks several languages.") So the easiest way to learn is to be born to parents who have these skills. That way you experience the effects of their skills, when a kid, and learn how they do it by watching and listening.

That didn't happen to me. My parents had no training in these skills and couldn't teach me. Sure, they wanted me to listen and understand them, but didn't know how to do it for me. I am willing to bet that if your parents had these skills you wouldn't be reading on Marriage Advocates. And my experience is that people with lousy listening and validation skills marry people who have lousy listening and validation skills.

So for most couples, two people want the other to listen and understand - to do it. They know what they want, but do not know how to do it. Veery verry frustrating.

Most conversations are just the act of two people talking, hoping the other will listen, taking turns, while nobody listens. Often one talks a heck of a lot more than the other can handle. One is quiet, but not listening - just faking it. Transmitter is on, but no one has turned on the station. You can't do this for long without noticing - oh mebbe 15 years!

Back to my three steps:
  1. They have to know how to go about it.
  2. They have to know you want it.
  3. They have to have an incentive to do it.


So the starting place is that both want it, both recognize when it is done well or poorly, but neither know how to do it. Both are waiting for the other to learn. This "impasse" can go on for years.

Are you with me? I'll hold here for a while for you, TC, to catch up. Let me know if you have questions or are able to track it all.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95522 - 04/17/11 11:53 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
I am with you so far, Al.
Do go on!

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#95574 - 04/18/11 08:11 AM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Back to my three steps:
  1. They have to know how to go about it.
  2. They have to know you want it.
  3. They have to have an incentive to do it.


So the starting place is that both want it, both recognize when it is done well or poorly, but neither know how to do it. Both are waiting for the other to learn. This "impasse" can go on for years.


I hear you loud and clear on this.
Maybe am jumping the gun here, but some (a lot) seems to do with awareness, also. I think people can sense that they want this, and can sense when it happens for them, but not so aware of the importance to pay it back, to reciprocate, take turns. (This BTW is a major sticking point for me in my relationships.)

Seems to me that once the fog of the romantic phase (PEA) lifts (and this, I think, happens even with the flush of a newly formed friendship), then narcissism returns in full bloom. And with this narcissistic attitude (mind you, I'm pretty sure this happens subliminally) comes the dismissiveness and disrespect of taking the other's need for reciprocity for granted.

I see it like this: I am aware enough to sense your need for validation. I can do this to some extent, so I try my best to model this with you and work on it till you feel on some level that this (your need for validation, being heard, being understood) is met. You feel that flush of fulfillment. Great! It works!

Then so often, at least in my experiences, that is that. I am left hanging. Sort of feeling neglected, forgotten, taken for granted when it comes to my turn.

Okay, I'm really jumping ahead here, and I think part of your response will be that it has to do with boundaries and boundary enforcement. Yep, I get that. But how do you accomplish this without turning them off even further? I can almost hear it now: I verbalize/share my need to be heard in turn and so often the reaction is a judgement, of neediness (mine), weakness, or some other "less than" label.

It comes across almost as if "since you're able to validate me, you surely must be able to take care of your own need for validation, so I can go off about my business until such time that I need you again (to validate me)."

Okay, enough for now. And I apologize if this comes as off tangent to the topic, but I guess I woke up feeling particularly 'taken for granted' this morning, after having spent a two-hour conversation yesterday, hearing and validating my best friend as he worked through a challenging problem with work. After this long (and successful) conversation, he left our dynamic walking on air. I was left drained, and later feeling my efforts taken for granted, while he was off and running.

My problem? Totally.
I need to learn (more) effective ways of handling this. Seems I find myself in this dynamic frequently. And it sucks.
How do you get them to want to do it back? frown

Thanks, Al.

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#95624 - 04/18/11 11:01 AM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
Telly
Member

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 1747
*****

Okay, let me first just say that it is sad that you would walk away from the 2 hour exchange feeling so drained and sad. Understandable, but sad. It is no fun to give so much and then be left not only with nothing, but WORSE than nothing.

I'm sorry that happened to you, and that it happens often.

*****
Next, this sounds very very very much like what I experience with my H. The tables don't turn the other way. It seems that I'm expected to (and often do) expend all my relational energy and any skills I've learned to help him work through things, makes sense of things, process things... but when I ask for what i need--it doesn't happen!!!!


Quote:
How do you get them to want to do it back?

I am very much looking forward to seeing if there is a way to work through this, because it is my issue...

You are really hitting my own sore spot here, TC (sorry got confused who was writing)!!!!!

(I hope that doesn't feel diminishing to your own feelings on the subject).


Edited by Telly (04/18/11 11:03 AM)
_________________________
Married 13 years
D10
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#95627 - 04/18/11 11:07 AM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
I hear you loud and clear on this.
Maybe am jumping the gun here, but some (a lot) seems to do with awareness, also. I think people can sense that they want this, and can sense when it happens for them, but not so aware of the importance to pay it back, to reciprocate, take turns. (This BTW is a major sticking point for me in my relationships.)
I don't see your post as "jumping the gun" so much as leading to your primary concern and helping me focus next on it.

The next piece is about unbalanced communication: narcissism (self-centered) and borderline behavior (Lizard driven - panicky).

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Seems to me that once the fog of the romantic phase (PEA) lifts (and this, I think, happens even with the flush of a newly formed friendship), then narcissism returns in full bloom. And with this narcissistic attitude (mind you, I'm pretty sure this happens subliminally) comes the dismissiveness and disrespect of taking the other's need for reciprocity for granted.
I think you got it.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
I see it like this: I am aware enough to sense your need for validation. I can do this to some extent, so I try my best to model this with you and work on it till you feel on some level that this (your need for validation, being heard, being understood) is met. You feel that flush of fulfillment. Great! It works!
You may be pretty good at "it" as far as you go.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Then so often, at least in my experiences, that is that. I am left hanging. Sort of feeling neglected, forgotten, taken for granted when it comes to my turn.
Yup. Sucks.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Okay, I'm really jumping ahead here, and I think part of your response will be that it has to do with boundaries and boundary enforcement. Yep, I get that.
AH. Lets see if I hear you. You get what I haven't said yet, (nor plan to say.) Hmm. That may seem to be a bit "ahead."

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
But how do you accomplish this without turning them off even further? I can almost hear it now: I verbalize/share my need to be heard in turn and so often the reaction is a judgement, of neediness (mine), weakness, or some other "less than" label.
Does/did seem a puzzle.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
It comes across almost as if "since you're able to validate me, you surely must be able to take care of your own need for validation, so I can go off about my business until such time that I need you again (to validate me)."
Certainly can be interpreted that way. Could make one feel pretty darn "used."

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
And I apologize if this comes as off tangent to the topic, but I guess I woke up feeling particularly 'taken for granted' this morning, after having spent a two-hour conversation yesterday, hearing and validating my best friend as he worked through a challenging problem with work. After this long (and successful) conversation, he left our dynamic walking on air. I was left drained, and later feeling my efforts taken for granted, while he was off and running.
Great example of the problem and the cost of not knowing what to do that is better.

Am I getting you?

I will have time to go further later today.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95659 - 04/18/11 12:29 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: Telly]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Telly
(I hope that doesn't feel diminishing to your own feelings on the subject).
Probably feels understanding (validating) to TC. Thanks for joining, Telly. I faced what appears to be the same problem myself, too.

I bet there are a whole lot of others that have the same experiences. Lots of pain, lots of frustration, lots of exhaustion, and lots of hopelessness out there.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95690 - 04/18/11 01:33 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Telly
(I hope that doesn't feel diminishing to your own feelings on the subject).
Probably feels understanding (validating) to TC. Thanks for joining, Telly. I faced what appears to be the same problem myself, too.

I bet there are a whole lot of others that have the same experiences. Lots of pain, lots of frustration, lots of exhaustion, and lots of hopelessness out there.


Yes, Telly, thanks for hearing me.
I thought perhaps this is a big problem in a certain percentage of relationships. Just depends on which end of the dynamic one finds oneself.

Al, this frustration seems to me also related to the dynamic of repeatedly trying to flip a relationship to the friend - friend level from a Master/Slave one. Of course, one can keep at it by minimizing/eliminating the inherent gamesmanship of Master/Slave as best one can. However, if the other party refuses to join you in friend-friend (or just plain can't/refuses to see it) what more can you do?

BTW, I understand The Testicle Principle about somebody having to go and do the work first. What alternatives besides 'dropping the rope' are there to making progress toward improvement or resolution to this stalemate? One side can certainly go first, but sooner or later the other side has to pitch in or it reverts to a Passive Master dynamic, as I see (and feel) it.

I guess I'm asking just how can you effectively get someone to buy into reciprocating? My guess is that many would either choose to play dumb (denial) or perhaps some other tactic to avoid assuming the responsibility of their 50% of friend-friend.

This really does suck. It hurts just talking about it.

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#95705 - 04/18/11 02:25 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
This frustration seems to me also related to the dynamic of repeatedly trying to flip a relationship to the friend - friend level from a Master/Slave one. Of course, one can keep at it by minimizing/eliminating the inherent gamesmanship of Master/Slave as best one can. However, if the other party refuses to join you in friend-friend (or just plain can't/refuses to see it) what more can you do?
I saw the same dilemma and found out there are powerful tools you can, if you know what, use. I'll try to get there soon.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
BTW, I understand The Testicle Principle about somebody having to go and do the work first. What alternatives besides 'dropping the rope' are there to making progress toward improvement or resolution to this stalemate? One side can certainly go first, but sooner or later the other side has to pitch in or it reverts to a Passive Master dynamic, as I see (and feel) it.
I think, TC, if you read the fine print you will see in that fun paper that I think Clinger/Avoider or Topic #2 Reliable Membership or Stop Chasing your partner away is the ONLY problem that is solved from one side alone. The problem of Master/Slave is amenable to fixing from either sides.

(Note: a close friend of mine died recently in order to get it through my thick skull that Avoider + Slave may have extremely difficulties. Clinger + Slave seem much better off. Thanks Bill, for your friendship.)

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
I guess I'm asking just how can you effectively get someone to buy into reciprocating? My guess is that many would either choose to play dumb (denial) or perhaps some other tactic to avoid assuming the responsibility of their 50% of friend-friend.
I have your question. Tis a good one.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95723 - 04/18/11 03:31 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Ok. Let's see if this fits for you all, also.

As I became better and better at the "it" of listening, I found that everyone, absolutely everyone, wanted me to do it. People would pay me just to be their listener. I remember thinking I was a bit like a prostitute.

I recall a book about the aborigines of Australia - Mutant Message Down Under. (I am ignoring the controversy about the book.) In that book everyone in the aborigine group had a job and felt valued because they were doing their job. One person's job was as "listener." And they were good at it.

I also recall the idea that I believe everyone wants to feel heard and understood: babies, kids, teenagers, adults.

Given this model, I and you might not be surprised that everyone I meet wants me to listen AND no one wants to listen to me. I recall the day when I thought that if I were in a group of six people, each one wanted time with me to tell me their story. But not one wanted to listen to mine. WHAAATTT!!!

This didn't seem fair at all. I believe we are in our culture raised under some powerful beliefs about fairness. I know that "nothing is fair," but still "what the hell!"

Jumping ahead a bit I offer the phrase, "If it ain't fair, it ain't Dialogue. It is just monologue." Following your interest in "flipping the relationship to Friend/Friend, "If it ain't fair, its probably still Master/Slave."

So let's move further into this question of yours and my steps to solve it.
  1. They have to know how to go about it.
  2. They have to know you want it.
  3. They have to have an incentive to do it.
And while I'm at it remember I am bringing PreValidation and Boundaries along.

I see communication as an exercise of boundaries. I used to see a saddle as a horse-human-adapter-plate. Well I see communication, talking, dialogue as a human-human-adapter-plate. How do I know that my boundary skills are good? Communication goes along smoothly for both humans present.

The easiest way to learn it (the skills of making them feel heard and feel understood) seems to be by watching your parents/caretakers practice those skills. At least I think that is the easiest way. I didn't experience it. A harder way to learn it seems to come through communication training seminars, etc. I think fddlr3 often mentions those. I, too, started off that way in classes, and then continued to refine the skills with my at-home-lab-partner, Sandra. Took years.

But there is another way that is positively frightening in both its process and its outcome. Learning to listen in order to satisfy the demands of untrained parents/caretakers. If a kid learns to survive by listening/attending to communicationally challenged adults, things seem very sticky. I believe no kid should have to meet the needs of adults for attention. I believe this is a "normal" form of child abuse. Parents are, I believe, supposed to meet the needs of kids for attention. That's the way kids brains develop smoothly. This can be scary thinking, too.

If I recall correctly, the word Mirroring came from the child development studies that were trying to find what was the correct response when a 3-year old runs up to a parent and says, "I am a Ninja Turtle!" and then waits for a response. What is that normal kid waiting for? My memory is that study showed that the only response that met the developing child's brain needs was Mirroring.

But here I am talking about adults (who were all once 3-year-old kids). I'll get back to this, maybe.

When I was practicing Mirroring I heard of and saw two terrors (Lizard reactions) that emerged from that practice.

If a person had "low self-esteem issues", they don't believe their own story is "good enough", or worth telling and thus when mirrored they will slip into terror of being exposed, judged wanting, for who they really are.

If a person had Abandonment issues, fears of being left behind, that fear would be stirred by Mirroring as they more and more discovered how different their partner was. In other words, people who fear abandonment are often scared of disagreement.

Now repeated experience of mirroring will move people through and past these huge fears. Lack of experience with feeling heard and feeling understood I fear doesn't move these fears at all.

Gotta run for now. But what have I shared so far.

  • Everyone wants you to listen/understand them. Universal need.
  • Few know how to do it, takes training.
  • Some kids learn to "listen" to meet needs of adults
  • Gotta PreValidate
  • Communication is about boundaries
  • Some people fear exposure
  • Other's fear abandonment caused by exposed differences


More when I have time. Questions. Observations?


_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95751 - 04/18/11 04:52 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Given this model, I and you might not be surprised that everyone I meet wants me to listen AND no one wants to listen to me. I recall the day when I thought that if I were in a group of six people, each one wanted time with me to tell me their story. But not one wanted to listen to mine. WHAAATTT!!!

This didn't seem fair at all. I believe we are in our culture raised under some powerful beliefs about fairness. I know that "nothing is fair," but still "what the hell!"


This is IT. This is EXACTLY how it feels to me!

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Jumping ahead a bit I offer the phrase, "If it ain't fair, it ain't Dialogue. It is just monologue." Following your interest in "flipping the relationship to Friend/Friend, "If it ain't fair, its probably still Master/Slave."


Oh, oh. So I'm playing Slave to their Passive Master by being available to make them feel heard whenever they need it?!! OMG! eek

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
So let's move further into this question of yours and my steps to solve it. [list=a]
[*]They have to know how to go about it. [*]They have to know you want it. [*]They have to have an incentive to do it.

This is the $64,000 question for me: how do I use an incentive as friend-friend? Seems more like a bribe or con. When they are accustomed to the role of Passive Master, how do I convince them into friend? It means they have to 'grow up' and take responsibility. How do you get 'em to want to do this for/with you?



Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I see communication as an exercise of boundaries. I used to see a saddle as a horse-human-adapter-plate. Well I see communication, talking, dialogue as a human-human-adapter-plate. How do I know that my boundary skills are good? Communication goes along smoothly for both humans present.


Can you develop this some more? I'm not understanding this part clearly.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But there is another way that is positively frightening in both its process and its outcome. Learning to listen in order to satisfy the demands of untrained parents/caretakers. If a kid learns to survive by listening/attending to communicationally challenged adults, things seem very sticky. I believe no kid should have to meet the needs of adults for attention. I believe this is a "normal" form of child abuse. Parents are, I believe, supposed to meet the needs of kids for attention. That's the way kids brains develop smoothly. This can be scary thinking, too.


This sounds like the makings of a Slave -> Passive Master dynamic. Very symbiotic. Yuck.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
When I was practicing Mirroring I heard of and saw two terrors (Lizard reactions) that emerged from that practice.

If a person had "low self-esteem issues", they don't believe their own story is "good enough", or worth telling and thus when mirrored they will slip into terror of being exposed, judged wanting, for who they really are.

If a person had Abandonment issues, fears of being left behind, that fear would be stirred by Mirroring as they more and more discovered how different their partner was. In other words, people who fear abandonment are often scared of disagreement.

Now repeated experience of mirroring will move people through and past these huge fears. Lack of experience with feeling heard and feeling understood I fear doesn't move these fears at all.


This is some heavy stuff, and I need lots more illumination with this. Thank you, Al.


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#95764 - 04/18/11 06:19 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Oh, oh. So I'm playing Slave to their Passive Master by being available to make them feel heard whenever they need it?!! OMG! eek
Well, I think it is fun to understand and painful/scary to be in the dark. Twas an eek for me, too. But we gotta PreValidate both people.


Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
This is the $64,000 question for me: how do I use an incentive as friend-friend? Seems more like a bribe or con. When they are accustomed to the role of Passive Master, how do I convince them into friend? It means they have to 'grow up' and take responsibility. How do you get 'em to want to do this for/with you?
I think the solution is worth a whole hell lot more. My guess....$6 million, gold. Life/time wasted cannot be recovered.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I see communication as an exercise of boundaries. How do I know that my boundary skills are good? Communication goes along smoothly for both humans present.
Can you develop this some more? I'm not understanding this part clearly.
Let's see. If I have good boundary skills then communication is easy and peaceful for both of us. If communication is difficult/fractious/painful then I look to improving my boundary skills. If you've read my article on Boundaries for Individuals, I can say it this way. If my soldiers are well trained, if they are full fledged warriors, I can chat with anyone easily and comfortably about anything.

An example is in MasterTalk. "Jews are the chosen people." Here's a sentence that has meaning only in the mouth of the speaker, but is presented as having meaning for everyone. A boundary skill is to remind both the sender and any listener to track whose mind this sentence came from or belongs to. "So you think Jews are the chosen people. Tell me more." (My friends are into holy days of Passover today.)

Hope that helps.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But there is another way that is positively frightening in both its process and its outcome. Learning to listen in order to satisfy the demands of untrained parents/caretakers....
This sounds like the makings of a Slave -> Passive Master dynamic. Very symbiotic. Yuck.
I think this is a) the source of Codependency and a b) whole lot of cultural trouble. Cost in the many many $billions in the US every year. My guess.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
When I was practicing Mirroring I heard of and saw two terrors (Lizard reactions) that emerged from that practice.

If a person had "low self-esteem issues", will slip into terror of being exposed. If a person had Abandonment issues, will often be scared of disagreement. Now repeated experience of mirroring remedy both.
This is some heavy stuff, and I need lots more illumination with this.
What I am reaching for is validating those who seem Lizard scared to saying too much and those who seem to fear hearing other points of view.

You invite a person to share why they do something. They seem hesitant, reticent, and mumble. If you invite with more enthusiasm, they they retreat to saying, "I don't know." They look and feel scared. Inside themselves they fear ridicule, mocking, shame, criticism, rejection, etc. Maybe they don't want to share their thoughts or reasons before a cruel judgmental audience. Maybe they've never had to think of this question, have no ready answer, and don't want to be shamed for their current ignorance. Could be lots of things. Their Lizard, in this communication situation, has taken over and just wants to lay low: freezing.

Repeated mirroring gets them used to no criticism or shaming. It gets them used to drawing a blank. It gets them comfortable with their own process of discovering themselves.

Or you start to tell them something they do not agree with. They look tense and scared. The lose their curiosity and stop mirroring and inviting you to say more. They react by interrupting, shutting you down if they can, turning away, arguing before you've finished your sentence. They seem to be pushing you to "agreeing" with their view. Inside they are in terror that if you see things differently you will leave them, go away.. etc. Their Lizard in this communication situation, takes over and they fight or flee.

Repeated mirroring gets them used to the idea of listening to many points of view without losing their connection with you.

This is all off the top of my head. I hope this helps.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95791 - 04/18/11 08:15 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
I can see there is a lot to developing this topic fully.
I think I need to practice patience, and allow you to develop this in your own order, at your own pace instead of me constantly interjecting in my attempt to jump ahead.
I'll just sit on my hands and let you do this at your speed, Al.
(I need the practice, and think you need the psychological space. Will can my "butt-in-ski" for a while.)

I'm listening.

Thanks, Al.


Edited by TC_Manhattan (04/18/11 08:16 PM)

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#95920 - 04/19/11 09:44 AM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 908
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
I can see there is a lot to developing this topic fully.
I think I need to practice patience, and allow you to develop this in your own order, at your own pace instead of me constantly interjecting in my attempt to jump ahead.


True, the topic takes a time, but I was enjoying the interaction with you. What you call "jumping ahead" came across to me as your enthusiasm for the solution and would clue me that I am still on topic (whose topic? yours). Much more fun for me to answer a need/curious in someone than in the abstract.

From the last message I sent, I was curious what you think about the current status of your / his Boundary skills, soldiers. I was curious which type of fear (abandonment or exposure) you tend to fear and which you think your partner fears, based on your communication experiences. I already have my guess.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
I'll just sit on my hands and let you do this at your speed, Al.
Boo hoo. Me sad. cry


Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
(I need the practice,
Never get too much opportunity to practice patience.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
and think you need the psychological space. Will can my "butt-in-ski" for a while.)
Thanks for trying to take care of my need - the one you imagine I have. Misunderstanding makes people clumsy. And to quote a friend, "I'll take care of my own needs for my own psychological space, thank you." I am still grateful, TC, for what seems your goodwill.

No matter what you do, I will get back to finishing up my topic later today, I hope. I'm almost done.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#95955 - 04/19/11 11:05 AM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
TC_Manhattan
Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1272
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
From the last message I sent, I was curious what you think about the current status of your / his Boundary skills, soldiers. I was curious which type of fear (abandonment or exposure) you tend to fear and which you think your partner fears, based on your communication experiences. I already have my guess.


Okay, well this part really took some thinking for me to sort out. Our latest conversations have been long and draining not so much because of bad communication between us (I take credit for much of that, since I've been working on these skills with you for a while now) but because the topic itself is highly-charged, about terse work negotiations on his job. I appreciate that energy drain, since I'm there frequently myself lately. I guess that, in the course of listening and validating his negotiations/strategies, I figuratively ended up 'sharing his pain.' Sort of like having sympathetic labor pains. I see that now.

At first, I just felt the drain and subliminally blamed it all on not having had my turn. I see now how unreasonable that expectation was on my part. Criminy, that would be one helluva feat to pull off two such high-energy transactions (validations) in one sitting. But then me, well, I am still on the steep part of the learning curve for patience. One reason we dialogue and share so much between us on this. Each, I think, learning bit-by-bit from the other.

In a broader perspective, I think we've evolved to a better level of alternate sharing, supporting, critiquing, and general opining about our individual experiences and learning in the world of medical negotiations. (It's a dog-eat-dog world, even more so now.)

Having allowed a couple days to transpire since that heavy talk, I realize that part of my emotional reactivity in complaining to you (and the board) also had to do with my impatience to "have my turn" to be taken care of NOW. (Tis a major Achilles' heel for me, this impatience thing.)

As to general tendencies of reactivity, well here's what I came up with, upon reflection:

Me, I tend to be the one with abandonment issues. Yes, I am the Clinger. Learned a lot about this from The Testicle Principle article. So, my initial fears (this goes back a good three years) were fearing lack of agreement. Lord knows I've repeated a million times your phrase about not expecting agreement, but expecting to share and validate our perspectives. Took time, but it works and truly is priceless.

And my friend, yes, is an Avoider. His inner brain-world revolves more slowly than mine, especially when challenged (as terse work negotiations can do.) His tendency revolves more around fears of criticism/shame. So, I have learned to slow things down, to be (more) patient, gentle, heck the mirroring has been doing for a couple of years. And yes, you are right that with consistency, he has come to learn to trust my inquiries/pulls and respond to them. Yes, sometimes when his world gets to spinning faster (as in brain overload), he shuts down for a while, but I am learning that in his own good time he has been and will come back to me. I just have to wait.

In a nutshell, when my lizard panics, I go into "fast forward." When his lizard panics, he "shuts down."

Now, do I still over-react with panic when this happens? Heck yes, sometimes. But I'm getting better at calming my lizard and keeping centered. And he is getting better about realizing to 'get back to me' after he disappears and reassure me and my lizard he just needs some time. In unstressed times, we literally talk exactly about this very dynamic. So we both are aware of your principles. The very act of writing this all out to you now makes me realize (and appreciate) just how much progress I/we have made over the past 2-3 years. Awesome.



Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Boo hoo. Me sad. cry

What cool validation! Thank you! Warm fuzzies! I like 'em!


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
No matter what you do, I will get back to finishing up my topic later today, I hope. I'm almost done.


Almost DONE? I feel like we just got started! grin

(Now it's MY turn to cry!)

P.S. I, like you, am unsatiable. I need one of those T-shirts.
I LOVE this stuff, and am learning SO much. dancing

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#95993 - 04/19/11 12:54 PM Re: Topic 7: "Learning Communication Skills" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle]
Edmond Dantes
Member

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I too am grateful for this discussion. I think I'm becoming more aware all the time and learning lots.

I see that I am a Clinger who fears disagreement and the threat of abandonment I believe is implied in disagreement. I think my estranged wife is an Avoider who fears negative judgement and criticism. Just recognizing this seems to me to put the dance we do into pretty stark relief. It begins to look an awful lot like that Greek myth that ends with the maiden turning into a tree to avoid the pursuit of her erstwhile lover.

Just letting you both know I'm watching and listening on the sidelines.

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