In part one we explored the importance of listening. This aspect of communicating involves a little more personal work to unearth the subtext of what you are trying to say. It asks for an open-hearted curiosity about what you are hearing and it requests that you attend to your feelings, thoughts, and experiences during conversations.
Clarity in Speech
When we are able to get really clear about what we are saying our words are received differently. This is because energetically we are explicit in our intentions, passion, and purpose. We are speaking from our Truth and requesting our partner(s) meet us and hear our Truth.
This requires spending time alone and digging deep into the things that are coming up for us. Creating space to explore what is really going on underneath the initial reactions. Framed in a personal perspective you gain understanding as to why this is an issue for you. Not for or about them but for you.
Grab a piece of paper and start journaling.
- How does this impact me?
- How do I image it will impact me in the future?
- What need to I have that is not getting met?
- What do I really want for my partner(s) and for myself?
- Any other thoughts that arise
Some nuanced examples;
- “Sometimes it feels like we have nothing in common anymore” could really be “I miss connecting with you and want to spend more quality time together.”
- “Why don’t you eat better and work out more” could really be “I want to know that you are caring for yourself so that we can grow old together in a healthy way.”
Speak in the present tense. Speak for yourself. Speak in concrete ways. It is your responsibility to say exactly what you mean and not expect your partner to read in-between the lines.
Clarity in Hearing
Good listening involves confirming your interpretation. Don’t assume that you know what you partner means. Inquire. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no response. Be curious. Get clear in your understanding.
- “What I'm hearing is... Is that correct?”
- “I am confused and really want to make sure I understand. Can I clarify something?”
You will notice listening involves sharing what you are hearing rather than just stating ‘I don’t understand’ or ‘that doesn’t make sense’. The goal is to keep engagement high and be committed to communicating with integrity.
2 Essential Components of Clarity
1. See your partner as a unique individual. Hold space for them as someone with different thoughts, feelings, and desires than you.
2. Stay with your own experience. Recognize that you will have your own unique thoughts, feelings, and desires. Work to self-soothe as your own reactions comes up.
Clarity of topic
It is easy and oh so tempting to switch topics! Isn't it? However, this creates confusion and can jeopardize the communication process. Commit to the issue at hand. Give each other permission to gently bring awareness to when you feel like the conversation has veered off.
Ensuring you are both discussing the same topic will help alleviate misunderstandings and keep your conversation constructive. Check in as many times as needed to keep the focus.
You are in this together.