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How to Solve Differences From a Place of Mutuality

This morning we were at our local breakfast nook working on blog topics. We each shared ideas about a possible topic, and some tensions arose unexpectedly. Maude wanted to continue last week’s theme of peace, and Phil wanted a different topic for variety. We repeated our desires about three times and ended up deciding that it would be an appropriate end-of-year subject, but the repetition left both of us with a slight feeling of not being heard during the discussion.

Wow! What an opportunity. “For what?” you ask. Well, there we were, working on sharing about our relationship and how we use our process to solve issues and make decisions, and yet we were both feeling like we hadn’t been heard by each other. “So why is that an opportunity?” you are probably still asking.

It is that we took our discomfort, even slight, as a cue to examine our interaction and act differently in the future.

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


In this week's blog, we wrote about how to solve differences from a place of mutuality. Here are a number of articles on listening and being heard.

Listen Up: Why You Don’t Feel Heard in Your Relationship "Solid, healthy communication is essential in any relationship because it’s the pathway to intimacy. When we talk and share our feelings, we feel closer to others and often get our needs met. However, talking is only half of the equation when it comes to good communication. The other half is listening."

Simple Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Heard and Understood "When you make your partner feel heard and (better) understood, then you will live in a space with a lot more peace. On the other hand, there’s the dark side. If your partner feels like she’s not getting through, the friction is endless. The unheard spouse repeats herself, “nags,” lowers expectations, or eventually shuts down. If a spouse feels like nothing they say sticks, then why bother talking at all?"

Response Options to Someone Who Doesn't Hear You "From this, feeling heard well enough means "I perceive that (a) you understand what I think, feel, and need right now, and (b) you respect both of us equally." Anything less than this is listening. Does this help to explain why people frustrate each other by saying "You're not listening to (hearing) me!" "Yes I AM!" How many average adults and kids do you think are aware of what you just read?"

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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