Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Good are Your Communication Skills?

by Aleta Kay

I work at a business where I take calls from people who are sometimes very agitated. The other day one of those customers was patiently trying to procure a service but there was going to be some out of pocket expense. His wife was in the background elling at him, telling him how stupid he was, what an idiot he was, and he should have done what she told him to do two weeks ago. He wasn’t the one yelling; she was.
I wondered as I listened if she was trying to get him to file for a divorce because she certainly didn’t sound like a woman who wanted to be married to her husband. I wonder how she would have responded if he, or anyone had talked to her that way? I also wondered if they had children, and if so, what is she teaching them about marriage by her example?
Our tongues are such unruly creatures. I’m sure all of us at one time or another have said things in anger we would never have said otherwise. How is it that we speak to harshly to people we claim to love? Why do we destroy their souls with our words/ Once words are spoken they can’t be recaptured, and even if they are forgiven, the scars can linger a lifetime.
When you were first dating you were his cheerleader, is encourager, his ego-booster. Now all ou see are his faults. Why? Don’t you still need encouragement, gentleness, tenderness?
In our world where people are so quick to judge and criticize shouldn’t we be the spouses that build up our men? Home should be a place of safety and refuge, away from the pressures and demands of the world.
Here are some rules for arguing: 1) Avoid the use of the words “always” and “never.” They are both exaggerations and therefore never true. 2) Avoid accusatory statements like “You make me...” Your feelings are your responsibility. Nobody makes you mad; you choose to be mad. Instead say something like, “When you say or do, I feel...” Never say things you don’t mean. Say what you mean; mean what you say. 3) Give two positive statements before criticizing: “I really appreciate this about you,” or “I really like this quality in you.” then gently get into the complaint or criticism. 4) Never discuss things while you are angry. Try to see things from a different perspective. When you have calmed down, then discuss things. Be willing to listen and think about the other point of view.

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