Hey, there! AmyK here.
Many tough conversations sound like:
Human 1: I can’t believe you did…
Human 2: I can’t believe you said…
Human 1: You always…
Human 2: Oh, yeah? Well, you never…
And unfortunately, neither person feels seen, heard, or understood. It’s a pattern based on real fears and real desires.
We fear criticism, being wrong, being judged, not being respected… just for starters.
We desire acceptance, forgiveness, feeling safe, understanding, validation… I could go on.
To listen to what another is saying, without the filter of what you’re hoping to hear, without defensiveness, and without all the filters of your own perceptions & pain… well, it’s hard. But it’s also a skill. And skills improve with practice.
The next time someone is sharing, and it’s hard to hear their words, this is a signal to you that you need to stop and wait. [WAIT = Why am I talking?!] Let them speak. Without interruption. When they are done speaking, I encourage you to respond with one of these two remarks:
That must have been _________. [insert feeling word]
Am I hearing you accurately?
Are you __________? [insert same feeling word]
Thank you for sharing. What do you need most from me right now?
When we set down our own agenda, our own pain, our own wounds long enough to truly listen to their words, their feelings & their wounds, we participate in a conversation that heals.
Communicating to connect is a brilliant first step for building healthier relationships.