Let’s face it!
You may not want one, you may not need one, but if you are in one your life goes smoother when it’s working!
Of course you know we’re talking about relationships
There’s lots of advice out there, lots of do’s and don’ts. But what we’re going to talk about is a little bit different.
We are going to be talking about understanding.
- Do you always understand what your partner is saying?
- Do you assume that your partner understands you?
And of course these tips apply to any type of relationship whether it’s business or romantic.
We are all using the same words (more or less). Yet, the same word may mean different things to different people.
If someone says I want a new chair” the listener understands the word chair. But does that mean a new desk chair a new folding chair new recliner?
The same example applies if someone says “you need to show me that you care”. We think we know what that means.
The important thing is to find out what that means to your partner. One man may say “I know my wife cares about me because she fixes breakfast for me every morning”. Another man may say “I know my wife cares about me because she leaves me alone in the morning”.
Some people may need to hear words, while others want to see behaviors. Finding out what works for your partner may surprise you.
If you don’t know what makes sense to your partner you may be saying all the words you want to hear. But you partner may be feeling talk is cheap! Where’s the action?
One phrase that everyone thinks they understand is “spending more time together”. Does that mean all day Saturday and Sunday? Does that mean three nights a week? Another notorious phrase is “quality time”. Think about what that really means to you? Is there a chance this may mean something different to your partner?
Nominalizations are words that we all know and understand. But we may each have dramatically different meanings in mind. For example: commitment, relationship, loyalty, freedom, respect, quality time, appreciation, etc.
A simple way to notice nominalizations is to ask yourself “can I put it in a wheelbarrow?”. If the answer is no, you’ll want to be more specific about what it means to you.
You’ll be surprised at how much more effective your communications will be!