I saw this quote in a book I was reading and found it to be spot on. I applaud Jeff Daly, unfortunately, I don’t really know who he is. I Googled his name (I like to give credit where credit is due) and there were a few Jeff Dalys to choose from. So, suffice it to say, without going into deep cyberspace, I’m thanking him.
In a relationship the monologue/dialogue issue is key. If mates are each speaking to the other in long, drawn out, one-sided “conversations”; guess what? you’re not having a conversation. Effective communication is not in play. We sometimes get stuck in our defense and intent, coupled with the need to get everything out in rapid-fire fashion; the opportunity for listening is then denied. I know. I’ve been that person. I can go into stream of consciousness thought and not stop until I’m good and ready, and of course, I think that everything that comes out of my mouth is brilliant. (I’ve been told that I have fast and slippery language. I try to use it for good, but sometimes …) In the meantime, you slam your mate with tons of info that can’t be reasonably processed in the moment, and could possibly lead to a further breakdown in communication. Not the anticipated goal.
So, whadda ya do? Well, if you’re trying to bridge a gap, each of you must be able to be heard, not just listened to, but heard. That’s a big one. It’s imperative to give each other equal opportunity to discuss frustrations, etc. Try to be patient (hard, yes, especially when you think you’re right!) because during the course of conscious listening you may find that you completely misinterpreted a situation or were unaware of an underlying issue. Both common occurrences, both I’ve been guilty of.
The good news. These moments of discovery may instill more compassion and acceptance of your mate’s concerns, which in turn leads to more caring conversations and an exchange of potential resolutions. Now, you’ve got yourself a dialogue.