Can You Understand the Other Person?
They have been talking about the fact that they don’t read each other well.
Her signals and his signals are not the same.
They tried this: What signals do I interpret as you care?
Clarifying- “it is never about the surface issue and I need you to keep going, follow up questions tell me you heard me well enough and we’re tuned in enough to dig deeper- you want to know me and about me and my thoughts -signal me that you really want to know me for real”
“I feel cared for when-We have back and forth conversations (instead of data dumping)”
“You tell me anything about you that is friend level or deeper- not something that everyone knows. We’re in a special relationship and I want to know you.”
Let’s just say that the above was heard by the listener as an attack. The conversation went south, until more clarification and validation. This took an hour. They decided to try this on their own:
-What signals do I read as you telling me that you don’t care?
“When you Interrupt me, especially if I am talking about something from the heart.”
“When you change the topic of conversation when I’m hurting and reaching out for emotional support.”
“When I talk and you listen without commenting/acknowledging or demonstrating that you heard me or saw me. I feel invisible sometimes.”
“When you fix me by offering me a solution that indicates you didn’t fully get my point”
“That Matter of fact style to things that aren’t matter of fact in my world- it keeps feeling dismissive to me. Like you’d rather not deal with me. That I am an inconvenience in your life.”
Imagine co parenting with this person for a number of years post divorce. Would you rather have good communication with them and not have to guess what they really mean?