Effective Relationship Communication, Self Help, Life Coaching, Spiritual Inspiration,mind enrichment, sharing knowledge, family improvements, love, marriage, more

Stop Thinking While I Am Talking

Communication!  Communication!!  Communication!!!

“Stop Thinking While I Am Talking” 

 Years ago, I was a licensed realtor who sold residential and commercial real estate. In working with buyers, I had to remember the key point as I looked and looked for just the right property. It was location, location, location. Gwendolyn MaultsbyThe home or commercial building could have been the most perfect home or property in every way including the price for that family or business client ; however, a not suitable or comfortable location broke the chance of having a real deal. No benefit could override where the property was situated.  It was back to square one, trying again for the proper location, location, location!

Too tired to pay attention?

In working for years with couples, and individuals dealing with various issues with others, I recognize the necessity of a key factor that is needed for a flourishing, harmonious, and beautiful relationship. There is a principle that can make or break the relationship deal just as location does in real estate. That principle factor is communication, communication, effective communication. Whether you are single hoping to meet that once in a life-time special person, married, or engaged to be married, lack of communication can be the deal breaker in any relationship. In real estate, every house or business was located somewhere, but if it was not in the best place, we could equate that to not being an effective, practical or warm place for that particular family or business. In a similar fashion, communication must not be just words.  It must be effective and sincere words communicated and received clearly by the person being spoken to. It must accomplish the desired results. It must be practical, understandable, and comprehensible to the parties involved. It must be heard and received. Effective communication cannot be accomplished if only one person is genuinely listening, and that one person is the person who is doing the talking.IMG03581-20110302-2118

My daughter made me rudely aware of that fact one day when she was talking to me. She said “Mama, I might as well stop talking, because you are not listening to me.” My response was slightly one of indignation to the fact that she accused me of not listening to her even though I was sitting right in front of her and looking at her, as well. My response to her got me in deeper water. I responded. “I am listening to you. I was just thinking about what you said.” Whoa! Did that spark her fiery juices. Her response to her mother was “Well, that’s the problem. You are thinking when you are supposed to be listening.” Now that really did it. “How else can I respond if I don’t think,” I answered.  I wasn’t expecting her response which was something like, “Well, mama, if you are going to think while I am talking to you instead of listening to me, then I am done talking.” And she stopped talking. Of course, I am sitting stunned. I tried to restart the conversation assuring her I would listen and try not to think, but that did no good. I was thinking when I should have been intensely and intentionally listening to her, not just looking at her. Because of my unintentional, insensitive action, she felt a bit devalued. That is something I would have never wanted my child to feel; however, because of my thinking and not totally listening with all of my mind and heart to her, she was offended. I did apologize, but the conversation did not resume again for hours. It took me a while to process what she was really saying, and sometimes, I still goof up and she has no problem reminding me that I am being rude because I am not really listening to her conversation. Instead, I am thinking of what I want to say next. Truth be told, I am probably not the only guilty one. How many times have you found yourself answering people, especially your partner, or even the children before they ever finish their sentence? How often do you answer them based on an assumption in your mind that you know what they are about to say; however, you never really heard all of the words in details that they stated? How many times do you just shrug them off without ever really knowing what they are  thinking completely? Why? Could it be that you were thinking while they were talking? Could it be that you were looking at them, but you were not with them.  Maybe, you were not really interested in that subject again; therefore, you tuned out and gave ananswer without any real thought, especially since you weren’t genuinely listening?  What really happens when people talk to you? Who or what in your mind are you communicating with?  You are certainly not communicating with the human being talking to you.  Is it snack or lunch time?       GE DIGITAL CAMERA Many couples object to being told they are discourteous to their mate. They don’t understand it, and they do not agree with their partner when they say that.   Afterall, you are looking them in the face while they are talking. You appear to be in tune; however, your mate feels you are missing from the conversation somehow.  Something else is buzzing around in that head.  They may even ask you, “Are you listening to me? Do you hear me?” That should be a red flag for you from now on when you hear that. Could it be that your mind is running on another channel and you are planning your day, your night, your workload, or whatever while they are talking? Perhaps, you are thinking of your response to the part of the conversation you really did hear before you tuned out, or maybe you are in another world.  IMG03473-20110224-1741 Think about it. Where is your mind when someone is talking to you? Be aware from now on what dimension you are on when people talk to you.  They can tell you are not all there. You are reading this article. Has your mind wandered off?  Perhaps you are analyzing this blog or finding an answer to this article? Hey, we tend not to only think while others are talking, but we sometimes drift off to another world while we are reading. It doesn’t matter whether it is a good book or not. It takes work to train the mind to stay focused and on one single track. I see the mind as a computer loaded with un-invited pop-ups. Just when you are in the middle of something important, a pop-up comes. What happens? The pop-up looks interesting.  Unintentionally, you stop doing what you were working and concentrating on so diligently. You turn your attention to a popup. Now worse than the first popup is while you are watching that popup, you are bombarded with another popup that looks interesting. You leave the first popup and you are now distracted and indulge in the second popup. Before you know it, your time is gone, and the most important thing you were working on sits incomplete on your computer due to the lack of focus and the inner strength to say “No” to that popup, that distraction, that thought that will take your mind in another direction. Have you ever wondered why you have difficulty remembering what you read?  Could it be popups? If you drift off when you are reading, you probably drift off when people are talking to you.  Could lack of focus be a part of the tension issue in your relationship? Change!  Start being aware of what you are thinking when you drift, and get control of your focus.  Would you like being ignored, nodded on, or the person be pre-occupied by other things while you are talking to them?  You have probably experienced that from others before.  Not a good feeling, is it.  So, the same applies to the people you treat that way.  Treat them the way you want to be treated, or better.  Think about it.  Communication!  Communication!  Good communication can accomplished much. How many relationships are suffering today because someone was thinking about how they were going to respond, or they were thinking about something else altogether different when their partner was talking? How many arguments happen because the spouse or partner notices that they are not being listened to totally?   The other spouse or partner has one eye in the TV, one eye in the newspaper or both eyes, both eyes on a game, scrolling their email, knawing on that chicken bone undistracted, or pretending to be asleep to avoid communicating? Does any of this fit your relationship? Maybe, you have other communication issues. If not, let me congratulate you. Now does your spouse agree with that too? That is, no communication issues in your relationship? Hmmm… Perhaps, you can send me an article to help others on this site.  Seriously. For those of you that know you have a communication issue at times, here’s a challenge for you. This week pay attention to you and how you respond in your mind when your partner or anyone is talking to you. What are you thinking about while they are talking? What are you doing when your mate is talking to you? If you have children, apply this to them, also.   How much of their conversation did you really hear? How important is your partner to you? Are they not important enough to you for you to give them your undivided attention?   When they are talking to you, or the two of you are supposed to be involved in the discussion, is it too much for you to stop everything you are doing and genuinely listen to their heart, to their feelings, to their concerns, and see their smiles? If you forget quickly what was said, could it be that you never really heard it clearly because you were thinking at the time, and not fully listening? Do you really take time to listen to your spouse or partner when you ask them, if you ask them, “Honey, how was your day?” Is that just words? If they actually start to tell you some of the trials or beauties of their day, do you cut them off with what you are thinking? How important is their day to you? Isn’t your day important to you, and it would be nice if they cared about your day sometimes, too? Give what you want in love and kindness not asking for it back arrogantly. You may get surprised. When you really start giving genuine loving attention to your spouse or partner, or just people, you may find you get some of the nice things you want done in your life, after all.   Some return to you without your ever speaking a word to request it.  Remember, the wise words said long ago, “Give and it shall be given to you.” What can you do to start today improving the communication between you, your mate, and other people, too? Could real listening be a beginning? After you have clearly and completely heard them, you are now able to respond because you heard with your heart, mind and with those two ears you have.  It is true.  You do reap what you sow. Listening to the one you love communicates to them that they are special to you. Listening to the one you love intensely when they talk says to them that you respect them enough when they talk to give them your undivided attention. Effective listening to the one you love and being courteous enough to not think while they are talking says to them, you are so valuable to me.  I want to share in your feelings and concerns.  Listening without distraction to the love of your life says in a strange sort of way that I am all yours, baby. You got my full attention!! Talk to me!!! Communication! Communication! Effective Communication! Without it, there is no real mutual talking at all.  Just gibberish. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————– Keep checking this site for more relationship and self-help motivational nuggets of hope.

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