I don’t understand her, why doesn't she understand me?
I’m not a super pro at this, yet one of my favorite people to help understand communication styles is my friend Larry Michel of Match Matrix who explains communication styles way better than me! xoxo
Yet the gist of it is some of us are more emotional in our nature, love the art of weaving a story, get very passionate about things and truly the act of being heard can be healing and deepening for intimacy. The other main style seems to be more direct in nature, to the point, logical and clear where it’s confusing when someone doesn’t get to the point, or weaves a story into who knows where and deep healing connection is found more in touch, or sex, or shared experiences instead of the actual words.
Now there are tons of communication courses out there and one of my favorite I took to answer your question about ”I don’t understand her, why doesn’t she understand me?” is one called Living from Truth that a woman named Angali Hill taught me.
We did these Dyads, communication between two people where the only thing you could say in response was ‘Thank you” . For example for 40 minutes we’d go back and forth asking one another, tell me something about you and fear. Or you and sex. Or you and money. Or something you’re afraid to tell me. Or something you are ready to change. The idea of saying ‘Thank you” was NOT saying you agreed, just that you understood.
What I realized was that when I was communicating, I didn’t really seek to understand, I was wanting to be right! to be safe! to be agreed with! to be validated for my opinion! to get their buy in so I felt acknowledged. Rarely was I ever listening just to understanding and hardly ever was I listening in total allowance, non-judgmentally or with an open heart.
After years of practicing this, now one of the reasons I believe I excel as a coach is that I am a huge space of non-judgmental, total welcoming curiosity and honor for one’s truth… you see, once someone really GETS YOU… (Understanding does not require agreement, remember?) Once you’re GOTTEN… the next insight can pulse through you, the next awareness bubbles up with ease. Before that we often strive to just be heard… in a perpetual state of frustration.
So my love who wrote in this question… Try this Dyad with your girlfriend… Tell me something you think I don’t understand, the understanding of which would create ease, joy and oneness between us? Go back and forth. Try 20 minutes to start. Only say Thank you to each other. No responses, rolling eyes, heavy sighs or glances off. Stay present. When you’re done DON’T speak about it again… just let what you learn settle into your bones, your heart, your being… see one another with soft eyes of tenderness. Be gentle with each other and most of all with yourself. Let me know any miracles that occur.
Great love, Allana>