Do you want to communicate but can’t? Is it tough to connect and get into their heart? Do these communication scenarios sound familiar? “I just can’t seem to get through!” “We try to talk, but it seems like we are from two different planets.” (Like Mars and Venus, maybe?!) “When I talk to him he grunts, or stares at me–I know he isn’t listening, he’s just looking until I’m done!” “Every time I try to ask her what she thinks, she shuts down. I can’t seem to get her to unlock and tell me what is going on in her head.” There IS hope for learning to communicate in your marriage! Everyone processes information in three basic ways:
1. Connecting through Emotions
People who process through their emotions tend to use words or phrases such as: “Well, the way I feel about it is….” “In my spirit it seems….” “I sense that…” Their dominant expressions in describing what they are processing are connected to their emotions or feelings. This doesn’t mean that a person who process through their emotions doesn’t think or imagine–it simply identifies what is their strong suit in communication and connection.
2. Connecting through the Intellect
A person who processes through their intellect will use terms like: “I think we should….” “I believe that it would be best if….” “I know that they….” Again, the terms they use to describe how they process are centered on the intellect. Do they feel? Of course! See? Certainly! But the intellect is central for them.
3. Connecting Visually
The third way people can process information is visually. They may not actually SEE the concept with their eyes…but they can imagine and picture it in their mind’s eye. So phrases used here would be: “The way I see it….” “I picture the situation like this….” “I imagine they could….” So what happens when a spouse who processes information dominantly through their feelings says to their intellectual spouse “How do you FEEL about that, darling?” What happens is…NOTHING! They don’t FEEL anything about it! But, if the feelings-oriented spouse wants to connect with their intellectual spouse, they might ask: “So what do you THINK about that, Darling?” They would be much more likely to get a response and prime the pump for conversation. Getting the idea? Love means speaking your spouses language–connecting where they are, not where you want them to be. So this week, talk with your spouse…find out how they best process information. Listen to the words they use and match your inquiries to their style. You will be amazed at the treasure trove of connection you unlock in your spouse! Ideas for us to write about? Send them in to: firstname.lastname@example.org Like this article? Tweet the link! Subscribe via RSS! Add the link to your Facebook! Help your friends’ marriages by spreading the word about Build Your Marriage!