Communicate constructively – Meyer advises
“Let each other finish”
My partner and I just can’t communicate. Every discussion degenerates into a wild crash.
The best recipe against arguments: listen, let people speak, reproduce, share emotions.
Thomas Meyerwriter and columnist
Unfortunately, the school subject “Constructive Communication” does not exist. And our parents aren’t necessarily the best teachers either. But we can still learn it anytime!
Usually we do little to understand our partner. Rather, our goal is to be understood. However, this means that we do not listen to each other, but become louder and louder. It must therefore be our primary will to understand our counterpart. If both of them do it this way, it is practical that both will be understood.
It is obvious that I-messages are better received than you-reproaches. Nonetheless, there are problematic behaviors that need to be addressed openly. But as factually as possible.
Let each other finish – after all, you want to understand each other. Resist the urge to interrupt your partner when she says things you don’t like.
Afterwards, repeat what you heard. We often ignore essential messages and misinterpret others. Allow your partner to correct your rendition. You want to understand them as precisely as possible!
Next, tell her how what she said made you feel. So how you feel when you hear these things. Does it make you angry? Sad? Name everything.
Now the roles switch: you talk, your partner listens, reproduces what you said in her own words and finally says what she thinks about it.
This may all sound terribly exhausting, and it is. But if we don’t communicate constructively and calmly, but rather impulsively and aggressively, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re in a bad mood.
Allowing people to finish speaking, repeating it, sharing emotions – that is the best recipe against arguments.