What to expect.

The question I get asked the most is: ” What can we expect during the 2 days of an exclusive session with you?”

There is a long answer to this, but the short answer is : a whole new way of listening to each other.  Dr. Gary Chapman—longtime relationship expert and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, puts it this way:

Have you ever wondered if you’re a good listener? How can you improve in this area? Here are eight steps, adapted from my book The 5 Love Languages® Singles Edition, to becoming a sympathetic listener.

  1. Maintain eye contact when you are listening to someone. This keeps your mind from wandering and communicates that the person has your full attention. Refrain from rolling your eyes in disgust, closing your eyes when they seem passive aggressive, looking over their head, or staring at their shoes while they are talking.
  2. Don’t engage in other activities while you are listening to another individual. Remember, quality time is giving someone your undivided attention.
  3. Listen for feelings. Ask yourself: “What is this person’s emotions right now?” When you think you have the answer, confirm it. For example, “It sounds like you are feeling disappointed because I forgot . . .” That gives the person a chance to clarify his/her feelings. It also communicates that you are listening intently to what they are saying.
  4. Observe body language. Clenched fists, trembling hands, tears, furrowed brows, and eye movement may give you clues as to what the person is feeling. Sometimes body language speaks one message while the words speak another. Ask for clarification to make sure you know what the person is really thinking and feeling.
  5. Refuse to interrupt.
  6. Ask reflective questions.
  7. Express understanding. The person needs to know that he/she has been heard and understood.
  8. Ask if there is anything you might do that would be helpful. Notice you are asking—not telling—the person what he/she ought to do. Never give advice until you are sure the other person wants it.

Work on one or several of these suggestions at a time, and you’ll connect better with others and find your conversations more engaging.

Do you want to learn a New Way of Staying Present for each other? Enquire today.

Breaking Old Habits

Read this latest blog by Harville and Helen Hendrix: Every couple meets, falls madly in love, falls out of love, fights and makes up, goes through crises and periods of smooth sailing. We can’t eliminate periods of difficulty from our lives any more than we can eliminate rain from the cycle of the seasons. Nor would we want to, for both rain and difficulties bring new growth.

Our only choice is how we RESPOND to our experience. We can remain ignorant of the forces that shaped us as children. We can refuse to learn new behaviors and change the outcome of our unhappy lives. Or we can open our eyes to the truth about ourselves and our past, and, with our partner’s support and compassion, learn new and effective ways of coping with our experience. This is what adults choose to do in a conscious relationship.

Today, think about a common pattern or occurrence in your relationship, perhaps a recurring core argument to which you have a knee-jerk response – to complain, to withdraw, to blow up in anger, to sabotage. Try to recall where you first encountered this behavior and when you first started to use this tactic. What one thing can you do differently today that might get a different response from your partner and might break this old pattern of stimulus and response?

Source: Harville and Helen Hendrix

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