Secrets To A Happy Marriage Part 14: How To Enjoy Better Conversation
How Much Do You Talk?
Is your marriage filled with pleasant conversation? I’m not just talking about superficial, small-talk stuff like what’s the weather supposed to be like today or how was work, I’m talking about sharing your hopes, dreams, feelings and fears.
Do you and your spouse open your hearts to each other in loving conversation?
I realize this isn’t always easy because it requires vulnerability. So here are some tips to get you and your spouse talking about stuff that really matters.
The goal is to create a comfortable emotional environment where you both know it’s safe to be honest and vulnerable and can share your feelings – your fears, hopes and insecurities.
Use these tips to strengthen your relationship by having better conversation:
1. Ask an open-ended question.
One of the easiest ways to get someone talking is to ask them a question. But it needs to be an open-ended question – one to which they cannot give a simple yes or no. Ask a question that draws them out.
2. Be sincere.
Your spouse will sense how interested you really are in them. So I’d suggest you stop what you’re doing, set down your smart phone or tablet, give your spouse your full attention, look them in the eyes and ask your question. Let your tone of voice and body language convey that your spouse is important to you and that you really care about what’s happening in their life.
3. Invite them to share.
If you want to know how your spouse feels about something then ask them how they feel. Invite them to share their thoughts on a certain matter. Ask a deep question to get a deep answer.
4. Respect timing: The Conversational Window.
Your spouse might not feel like talking right now; that’s okay. Just relax and let it go for a while. Give them some space – some breathing room; be patient. Either they will bring it up later, or you can. Wait for your “conversational window.”
5. Let them finish.
Few things will kill a conversation faster than someone constantly interrupting or cutting the other person off. You will have better conversations when you give your spouse time to finish their thoughts.
Whatever you do, please don’t finish their sentence for them because this makes them feel that you’re anxious for the conversation to be over or that they are boring you.
One last thing, don’t correct your spouse – especially their grammar.
Just let them talk. Embrace the moment and go with the flow.
6) Let them know you are listening.
To enjoy more fulfilling and productive conversations with your spouse, you must listen – and you must demonstrate that you are understanding what they are saying.
Listen intently to what they are saying. And every once-in-a-while, summarize what you think you’re hearing them say. This gives them the impression that what they’re saying is important to you AND that they are being heard; everyone wants to be heard.
This is called active listening, and it helps to create a safe environment for deep and meaningful conversation to take place. Use your ears and heart to validate your spouse and also to validate what’s important to them.
These six steps won’t solve all of your communication challenges but they will help you and your spouse begin to enjoy much more meaningful discussions.
Following these six steps equips you to lighten your spouses’ emotional burdens. But this will happen only IF they see that you are trying to understand what they’re talking about and that you genuinely care.
Start practicing one or all six of these steps to be madly in love today.