With the holidays upon us there are going to more people in our lives who we may have not seen much during the last year. This can be problematic because we don’t have an ongoing dialogue with them. Instead we are expected to jump right in as if there has been a solid amount of interactions from the last time we met each other. Not a chance. So take some time to get reacquainted and talk to each other without any expectations. Here is a recap of some older articles designed to give you a better holiday experience…
Talking is the beginning of sharing our thoughts and ideas. But without a willing partner you will get nowhere. If you’re doing it by yourself, the results can sometimes be less than spectacular. So when talking to each other, make certain that you have an active partner.
With that said, it is equally important that you be a good listener and not just hear the spoken words. Listening can be a great way to pick up on subtle things that are conveyed through voice inflection and body language. In a relationship discussion what is not said can be more important than what is said. Keep focused on the person you are having a conversation with, and show some interest.
Why Is This Important?
Regardless of the situation, by listening first you put yourself in a very powerful position. As the listener you will get all of the information being offered. It gives you the ability to think about the message and create a reasonable, informed answer. This will help in advancing the conversation and give you the opportunity to learn about them. You may be surprised by what is actually conveyed.
What is the Benefit?
In relationships we are emotionally invested. Our feelings are exposed for anyone to nurture or damage. And this leaves us feeling vulnerable to the next attack. In reality it is each of us who has the opportunity to choose to listen and engage in the conversation. There is nothing to fear when we are listening, because all of the information is coming to us. We are not hurting each other, merely listening to what is being imparted.
Engage by asking probing questions;
- Does that interest you?
- How do you feel about that?
- Is there more there that we should discuss?
- Tell me more…
- What can I do in that regard?
Any additional question or comment to keep the dialog moving can only help. Try not to use the word “No” until you’ve listened to everything said. He or she may be nervous and not get the words right at first. Give them room to expand and listen while they relax and get comfortable with the exchange.
I suggest never getting angry during times of conversation especially during the holiday season. By remaining calm we have a better chance of getting our thoughts out clearly. And as the listener, anger dulls the senses and makes really understanding much more difficult.
With anything, this takes practice and it takes two people. If one is angry, neither is ready for a conversation. If one is distracted neither can communicate. And if one is incapable, neither have a chance to properly share.
So, give it a try and let me know what comes of it. You may get a surprise, you may find something you didn’t know or you may just connect better than ever before. In any case, let me know how it goes. Your story may be what helps the next reader have a holiday to remember.
Love with no shame and ask with no fear