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Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust #79024
03/08/11 10:01 PM
03/08/11 10:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
This is a discussion that began back on March 8 and I think it centered on MasterTalk and what to do about it.
You can go to my website and in the directory on Autonomy you can find many articles that I've written over the years on this topic. Now here's the start of this series, thanks to holdingontiot fddlr3 and others.


Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I don't think you are, but who cares what I think. Change. Learn. Tis, I believe, your only choice.


Sneaky MasterTalk alert.
I'm not clear where you see the MasterTalk, but I love the alert.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Don't you mean that she has several options, one of which is to change and learn? Which has a chance of showing her STBX that she is not incapable of change? But she is entitled to choose not to change or learn or grow. Which is unlikely to convince her H that he is wrong to see her as hopeless. But is still a valid choice on her part.

That does sound a bit like what I am meaning. I just go a bunch further. I no longer think I am qualified to tell another person what to do. They have to walk their own "lonesome" valley and do what they choose - at witness the outcome of that. Perhaps people should stay a stick-in-the-mud. Perhaps they should learn. I opt for the learning as fast as I damn can. I've seen people who chose rigidity and I think became an example of what-not-to-do. Who can tell?

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am curious to hear which way she is leaning. wink
Me too. I do get involved in so many stories and often wonder what happens next. Kind of like switching channels on a TV, and rarely watching a show to it's end. Life is cool.

Last edited by AlTurtle; 03/18/11 02:03 PM. Reason: Changed Subject

Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #79050
03/08/11 10:39 PM
03/08/11 10:39 PM
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I thought the MasterTalk was the "I don't see that you have any choice" part. As in she is obliged to do what you suggest. But maybe you were merely observing that you do not see she has any other choice that has any chance of convincing her husband that she is open to change. Not that she is therefore obliged to make that choice.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Perhaps people should stay a stick-in-the-mud. Perhaps they should learn. I opt for the learning as fast as I damn can. I've seen people who chose rigidity and I think became an example of what-not-to-do.


Yes, I am a rigid stick-in-the-mud and a good example of what-not-to-do. Nevertheless, I should not condescend and tell her not to be like me. Who can tell what is right for her?

Edited to add: Just read your article on becoming a source of safety. You said the steps are:

1. Find out what they think will make them feel safer or more relaxed.
2. Check to see that it is doable.

The rest of the steps discuss implementing the doable suggestions. I didn't see any discussion of what to do when your partner requests something that is NOT doable. Thoughts?


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: holdingontoit] #79190
03/09/11 04:45 AM
03/09/11 04:45 AM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I thought the MasterTalk was the "I don't see that you have any choice" part. As in she is obliged to do what you suggest.

Good for you. Thanks for sharing what you saw as MasterTalk. Hell, I wrote the book on MasterTalk, but still catch myself, or others catch me, in using it.

If I am caught I usually try to restate what I was trying to say in a non-MasterTalk, or what I call a dialogical way. In this case I didn't see any MasterTalk and I don't think it becomes MasterTalk until I see your reframe of it. Your refame I sure think it is Mastertalk.

Let's see. The sentence you pointed to was
Quote:
I would guess you got a good clue that he's gone back into thinking you are hopeless. I don't think you are, but who cares what I think. Change. Learn. Tis, I believe, your only choice.


The trick I teach about MasterTalk is that it implies there is only one way to see a situation. I think it misses that the viewpoint being expressed belongs only to one person. I define it as an absolute, "this is a fact" not just "my opinion" statement. And I think MasterTalk signals a kind of unconscious threat to anyone who has a differing point of view.

Using my definition, I was, I think, clearly sharing my belief. Given what I knew of her challenges, and her speaking about her stumbling around, I was guessing (my guess) about her partner's motives. Since I was believing that she wants to reconnect or continue connection with this guy who seems to her to be moving again toward divorce, I was sharing my belief that she had only one choice - to get back to work "working" on herself visibly. I did not and do not expect her to do what I suggest. I've learned that all people are chronically disobedient and I am comfortable with that. I certainly did not think I could, (nor do I think I would) tell her what to do. She'll make up her own mind. Just cuz I only see one solution, what does that have to do with anyone else. They may see six solutions. I can only share what I believe. (Besides it is normal for me to see two more solutions about a half hour after I only see one.)

Given your reframe of my "I think" statement into a "she is obliged to do what I think" statement, I certainly see that as MasterTalk.

Good for you for bringing it up.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
But maybe you were merely observing that you do not see she has any other choice that has any chance of convincing her husband that she is open to change. Not that she is therefore obliged to make that choice.
I think that is a pretty good reframe. I do not think she is obliged. I think this reframe catches what I was intending. Thanks.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Perhaps people should stay a stick-in-the-mud. Perhaps they should learn. I opt for the learning as fast as I damn can. I've seen people who chose rigidity and I think became an example of what-not-to-do.

Yes, I am a rigid stick-in-the-mud and a good example of what-not-to-do. Nevertheless, I should not condescend and tell her not to be like me.


Perhaps say these sentence again. Not sure what you mean.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Who can tell what is right for her?


Well, anyone can say anything. But I defer to her to make that decision of what is right for her.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Just read your article on becoming a source of safety. You said the steps are:
1. Find out what they think will make them feel safer or more relaxed.
2. Check to see that it is doable.

The rest of the steps discuss implementing the doable suggestions. I didn't see any discussion of what to do when your partner requests something that is NOT doable. Thoughts?


Oh, sure good question. Surprised the answer isn't there in that article. The answer for me is to Mirror the non-doable. Make sure she feels heard, and in a polite way show her that she's requested the un-doable. People can ask for anything. They can ask you to read their mind. They can ask you to fix something that is their job to fix. Hell, all sorts of things. I see this as first of all "words from their mouths". You can always mirror what they say, and prove you respectfully heard the words. I want people to be able to say anything, but I also want to cue them in when I think they are asking for the impossible/non-doable things or at least things you don't think you can do.

This ability to respond appropriately to requests for what you see as "undoable" appears useful to me.

I think you'll see it in my article on Caring Days: The Skill.

Also I hope you'll see it in poster I created for a friend Psychiatrist. 




Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #79245
03/09/11 02:56 PM
03/09/11 02:56 PM
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Thank you. That was helpful. I am going to request that my wife and I call you for a chat.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: holdingontoit] #79433
03/09/11 09:26 PM
03/09/11 09:26 PM
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Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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This brings up the self-referential issue of how to effectively respond when one thinks that the other person has used MasterTalk.

It seems to me there are at least two cases. One is when a person really is coming from a position of "Master" and making a universal statement of truth and not allowing in their words the possibility of any other point of view.

The second is when a person is not really coming from the "Master" perspective, but the language could possibly be interpreted as MasterTalk. In ordinary speech, a position could be stated without the qualification of the speaker's perspective made explicit, but it is implied. For example, if someone says "That was a great movie!" one could say it is MasterTalk, since the words themselves do not qualify it as the speaker's opinion only. Perhaps for some people that is indeed what is meant, but from where I sit this statement is implicitly the speaker's opinion, and I don't see any reason to interpret it otherwise.

Which brings me to my next point, something I will facetiously dub the "Mastertalk Gestapo." Meaning that, in my opinion, telling someone that they are using MasterTalk is itself MasterTalk. This has been pointed out by Al and some others. In my opinion, even telling someone "I receive that statement as MasterTalk" is still likely to be MasterTalk disguised in "PC" terms.

It seems to me that a more effective response to something perceived to be MasterTalk is to first recognize that if it is indeed so, it is most likely that the person's Lizard has been triggered. If this is indeed the case, then PC or not, using the term MasterTalk will I believe only tend to trigger the Lizard even more rather than calming it down.

The response for me, then, would be oriented towards the fact that the other's Lizard was triggered by something. I would want to validate and listen to understand what it was, how they perceived what had been said, and what they are feeling about it. (I realize that Al is not so big on feelings in this, but I am).


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #79805
03/10/11 04:40 PM
03/10/11 04:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
This brings up the self-referential issue of how to effectively respond when one thinks that the other person has used MasterTalk.
The response for me, then, would be oriented towards the fact that the other's Lizard was triggered by something.

A little more thought on this. When I perceive my partner is using MasterTalk, I do not "know" their Lizard is triggered, unless I have some other clues. I do believe they are intentionally (or unintentionally) stepping into Master/Slave relating or are maybe just using that particular type of phrase out of habit with no consciousness of wanting to be in a Master position. I am aware there is potential threat in the room for my Lizard. I am also aware there is a potential threat to us getting along in a Friend/Friend way.

I am completely with you on not interrupting and saying, "You are using MasterTalk!" I've generally found that doesn't work, exactly cuz it is MasterTalk. Another way of looking at this, that response is joining them in the Valley of the Masters - which is a lose-lose.

For me the situation is one of patience and curiosity. This is a place where mirroring is useful. Perhaps I only need to mirror the one sentence. Perhaps I need to fully engage my boundary defenses.

Example for today: "A Republicans in Wisconsin are idiots." is the incoming sentence. I can mirror, "Wow, so you are thinking that 'em Republicans are stupid. Go on." The next sentence will usually tell what situation in my partner I am dealing with.
  • If my partner says, "Yes, I was up all night thinking of it." then I can relax and be just fully curious and patient moving toward validating this person.
  • If my partner responds, "It's not a thought, it is a fact! They are!" then I am facing a person whose Lizard is probably into fighting and that includes fighting me if I don't immediately role over and pretend to agree.
  • If my partner says, "Did I say Republicans? I meant union teachers." then I am in a completely different situation.


Oh. one other thing. I think passive MasterTalk is a bit of a bigger problem than active MasterTalk. Active MasterTalk I define as me slipping into thinking I am god and that my view is the right view, or at least using those sentence structures. Passive MasterTalk is when I invite someone to give me MasterTalk and in so doing neglect my own responsibilities. But whichever, listening, and validating, and I used a mirror or two are the ways to handle it, I think.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I realize that Al is not so big on feelings in this, but I am.
Not sure, fddlr3, where you get this idea. I see myself as way up on feelings, way more than most people. I certainly distinguish feelings from thoughts. But I want to witness both. I am down on any kind of telling people what their feelings are. I am way way up on observing, talking about, and managing feelings. I generally place feelings about two times higher than ideas, theories, beliefs. Hmm. And you believe I am not to "big" on feelings. When I saw your words, I felt surprised, a bit amused, a bit sad, and misunderstood. Well there it is.



Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #80017
03/10/11 11:32 PM
03/10/11 11:32 PM
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Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
A little more thought on this. When I perceive my partner is using MasterTalk, I do not "know" their Lizard is triggered, unless I have some other clues.
That's how I see it as well. In Lizardese, it may be that the perception of the other person's Lizard is in fact my Lizard acting scared. That's why I believe it's so important to check out the intentions before responding. Other clues can be crucial, I agree - and sometimes they are unclear or incongruous.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I am completely with you on not interrupting and saying, "You are using MasterTalk!" I've generally found that doesn't work, exactly cuz it is MasterTalk. Another way of looking at this, that response is joining them in the Valley of the Masters - which is a lose-lose.
I see this the same way.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
For me the situation is one of patience and curiosity.
This is such an important point. From what I understand of them, Lizards are not patient and certainly not curious. So the only way I can be patient and curious is if I have my own Lizard being cared for.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
This is a place where mirroring is useful.
I'm wondering if it is okay to point out some contrasts between how I approach the responses and mirroring. I'm assuming an affirmative...

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Example for today: "A Republicans in Wisconsin are idiots." is the incoming sentence. I can mirror, "Wow, so you are thinking that 'em Republicans are stupid. Go on." The next sentence will usually tell what situation in my partner I am dealing with.
My response would be "So you heard something that felt not okay with you."

The reason is that I have found such as response to be very effective in getting to what the real issue is - which (ime) for statements like this are never in the words themselves. For one thing, I view such a sweeping MasterTalk generalization as a reflection of some underlying uncomfortable feeling. And there is something that happened before this statement that triggered that uncomfortable feeling. Since I have no idea what it is, a natural question would be "What causes you to say that?" Since I prefer to not phrase questions as questions but as statements, my response would be similar to the above.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
  • If my partner says, "Yes, I was up all night thinking of it." then I can relax and be just fully curious and patient moving toward validating this person.
I would too. And since this is crucial information, I would respond with "So this has been bothering you for awhile."
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

  • If my partner responds, "It's not a thought, it is a fact! They are!" then I am facing a person whose Lizard is probably into fighting and that includes fighting me if I don't immediately role over and pretend to agree.
I would approach it differently, and would not agree (even if I actually did agree). I do not see agreeing about how awful "they" are (whether "they" are Republicans or union leaders) as being validating. Although I would not be likely to get this response (since I didn't reflect that was what they "thought"), depending on the vehemence of this statement, I would respond with either "So you're convinced of this." or "So it's that clear to you."

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
  • If my partner says, "Did I say Republicans? I meant union teachers." then I am in a completely different situation.
I'm not clear what the difference would be. I would respond the same way in either case. The reason is that (imo) the MasterTalk is coming from a place of painful feelings, and it is those feelings that are often the real message.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Passive MasterTalk is when I invite someone to give me MasterTalk and in so doing neglect my own responsibilities. But whichever, listening, and validating, and I used a mirror or two are the ways to handle it, I think.
I would love to see some examples of this.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I see myself as way up on feelings, way more than most people. I certainly distinguish feelings from thoughts. But I want to witness both. I am down on any kind of telling people what their feelings are.
Maybe you see my approach as imposing feelings on the speaker.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I am way way up on observing, talking about, and managing feelings. I generally place feelings about two times higher than ideas, theories, beliefs. Hmm. And you believe I am not to "big" on feelings. When I saw your words, I felt surprised, a bit amused, a bit sad, and misunderstood.
Perhaps you would be open to hearing what was intended by the statement.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #80124
03/11/11 04:04 AM
03/11/11 04:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If my partner responds, "It's not a thought, it is a fact! They are!" then I am facing a person whose Lizard is probably into fighting and that includes fighting me if I don't immediately role over and pretend to agree. [/list]
I would approach it differently, and would not agree (even if I actually did agree).

The reason mirrored the phrase as an "I think" phrase was to allow them to accept the reframe, correct my hearing or, in this case, reveal their level of investment in their MasterTalk. In this situation I would never agree with them. I want to normalize space for differing opinions even in the face of a lot of passion. I would do this by waiting for any phrase that I think implies I should show agreement. That is usually forthcoming. Then I quickly state something like, "Hell, I haven't agreed with anyone on anything since around 1995. But that doesn't stop wonderful discussions. Tell me more about your beliefs."

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If my partner says, "Did I say Republicans? I meant union teachers." then I am in a completely different situation.
I'm not clear what the difference would be.
At this point I am showing that I am supporting him at discovering he had misspoken. I want him to feel ok in my presence to correct his own message for the better. Then if he said the MasterTalk statement again, this time about another group, I would manage that the same way as above.

Oh, by the way, almost everytime you use the word "real" or "really" my MasterTalk warning system goes off. Not a problem. Thought I'd let you know.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Passive MasterTalk is when I invite someone to give me MasterTalk and in so doing neglect my own responsibilities. But whichever, listening, and validating, and I used a mirror or two are the ways to handle it, I think.
I would love to see some examples of this.
This is all in my papers on the Power of Passivity and Passivity in the Foundations. Passive MasterTalk is the kind of MasterTalk used by Slaves. I define that implies there is a single correct point of view and that the speaker wants someone else to give it to them. Usually these are questions. "What's the right thing to do now?" "What do we do now?" "What's really happening in Wisconsin?" or the biggie, "I don't know." All clues to living in the Valley of the Masters and in the passive, victim position. Fun stuff to track.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Maybe you see my approach as imposing feelings on the speaker.
Sure I think its a significant risk you take. One of the values of being able to retreat to simple Mirroring, I think, is that you avoid sneaking your thinking or your interpretations into the other person's world - consciously or unconsciously. I think it can sure avoid people feeling handled or manipulated. But I feel sure you are aware of this risk.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Perhaps you would be open to hearing what was intended by the statement.
I have the impression I may have misunderstood you. Thanks. Please say more.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #80149
03/11/11 05:13 AM
03/11/11 05:13 AM
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I so appreciate this conversation Al! It is indeed a great pleasure to discuss these issues - I am learning a lot here. Thank you!

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
The reason mirrored the phrase as an "I think" phrase was to allow them to accept the reframe, correct my hearing or, in this case, reveal their level of investment in their MasterTalk.
This makes perfect sense to me. I'm pondering the meaning of "level of investment" - perhaps you would be willing to share more about that.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
In this situation I would never agree with them. I want to normalize space for differing opinions even in the face of a lot of passion.
Re-reading my response, I think I was being lazy and unclear. My take on where the speaker is likely to be is to not admit the possibility of any different opinions, at least at that point. So I would hesitate to imply that - again, at this point. I would wait until their energy had settled down, which IME inevitable happens when they find they are getting no resistance and are actually being heard.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I would do this by waiting for any phrase that I think implies I should show agreement. That is usually forthcoming. Then I quickly state something like, "Hell, I haven't agreed with anyone on anything since around 1995. But that doesn't stop wonderful discussions. Tell me more about your beliefs."
That's a good one! I have also found that often when my agreement is being solicited (explicitly or implicitly) it us usually a sign that they are actually not as convinced about what they are saying as they may act.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If my partner says, "Did I say Republicans? I meant union teachers." then I am in a completely different situation.
I'm not clear what the difference would be.
At this point I am showing that I am supporting him at discovering he had misspoken. I want him to feel ok in my presence to correct his own message for the better. Then if he said the MasterTalk statement again, this time about another group, I would manage that the same way as above.
Ah - gotcha. I totally missed this (still have a lot to learn!) Thanks for the clarification.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Oh, by the way, almost everytime you use the word "real" or "really" my MasterTalk warning system goes off. Not a problem. Thought I'd let you know.
I appreciate this being brought to my attention. I confess that, having been made aware of MasterTalk, of the fact that I do engage in it at times, and other times at least think it. Sometimes it is just laziness in writing, to which I also confess. I am completely okay with it being called to my attention when I express something that feels uncomfortable.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
This is all in my papers on the Power of Passivity and Passivity in the Foundations. Passive MasterTalk is the kind of MasterTalk used by Slaves. I define that implies there is a single correct point of view and that the speaker wants someone else to give it to them. Usually these are questions. "What's the right thing to do now?" "What do we do now?" "What's really happening in Wisconsin?" or the biggie, "I don't know." All clues to living in the Valley of the Masters and in the passive, victim position. Fun stuff to track.
Thanks for the reference - I'm sure I'll have some questions after I read it!

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Maybe you see my approach as imposing feelings on the speaker.
Sure I think its a significant risk you take. One of the values of being able to retreat to simple Mirroring, I think, is that you avoid sneaking your thinking or your interpretations into the other person's world - consciously or unconsciously. I think it can sure avoid people feeling handled or manipulated. But I feel sure you are aware of this risk.
Indeed. This is where the listener's attitude of PreValidation comes in so crucially. Certainly any attempt on the listener's part to inject their own thoughts in tends to drive the dialogue south. And I have certainly been guilty of that regardless of which approach I use.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Perhaps you would be open to hearing what was intended by the statement.
I have the impression I may have misunderstood you. Thanks. Please say more.
I was being lazy again. I said
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I realize that Al is not so big on feelings in this, but I am.
(Emphasis added) What I meant was not that you were not big on feelings in general; "in this" was shorthand for the listening/validation process. This was was based on my interpretation of something you had said earlier about not being so much oriented towards feelings with regards to validation as myself. I could be way off on even that, and I certainly appreciate how your approach to communication facilitates quite effectively the communication of both thoughts and feelings.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #80295
03/11/11 05:28 PM
03/11/11 05:28 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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I wonder how to move these discussions to a place where everyone can find them and where they fit. I think mostly we are chatting about MasterTalk which to my way of thinking is either under Communication Topic 7 or Bullying Topic 3. Things feel a bit out of control for me. (Of course that might be my reacting to the Japan earthquakes.)

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
The reason mirrored the phrase as an "I think" phrase was to allow them to accept the reframe, correct my hearing or, in this case, reveal their level of investment in their MasterTalk.
This makes perfect sense to me. I'm pondering the meaning of "level of investment" - perhaps you would be willing to share more about that.
By that I mean how much passion/energy is behind him a) making his point and b) potentially trying to suppress anyone (me) expressing disagreement. I and my Lizard are in the process of determining what we are gonna do about this character. Do we just raise our energy to match his? Do we (my Lizard and I) decide to withdraw? Do we call 911? I think this is all about mobilizing my Boundary Skills, keeping me safe and then being curious about this person's point.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
My take on where the speaker is likely to be is to not admit the possibility of any different opinions, at least at that point. So I would hesitate to imply that - again, at this point. I would wait until their energy had settled down, which IME inevitable happens when they find they are getting no resistance and are actually being heard.
We probably approach this differently. I think this person's temporary idea of suppressing different opinions is a more significant issue than the point he is trying to make. So I approach that first. I want opinions being expressed in an environment of openness. If he don't wanna do that, I don't wanna talk with him. Might be a bit tough here, but I don't wanna enable his opinion-suppressing behavior. If he wants to be a "bully" that is ok by me, but I don't think he is entitled to me hanging around while he does that. I believe this is the way to get rid of that habit. I am assertively working to change his habits. Passion is fine. Suppressing opposition views is not acceptable to me.


Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Perhaps you would be open to hearing what was intended by the statement.
I have the impression I may have misunderstood you. Thanks. Please say more.
I was being lazy again. I said
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I realize that Al is not so big on feelings [u]in this, but I am.[/u]
(Emphasis added) What I meant was not that you were not big on feelings in general; "in this" was shorthand for the listening/validation process. This was was based on my interpretation of something you had said earlier about not being so much oriented towards feelings with regards to validation as myself. I could be way off on even that, and I certainly appreciate how your approach to communication facilitates quite effectively the communication of both thoughts and feelings.
Using "quotes" can sure be messy. Anyway I have two thoughts. I don't think I've shared well, in the past, my thoughts about your use of the word "feelings" in your methodology, and so I am not surprised if we misunderstood each other. Actually I always want to get feelings expressed and talked about along with thoughts. Seems to me part of the data. I think I hesitate my "interpreting" of people's feelings as part of communication. I want them to do the interpreting and sharing with me. Oh well.

The other thing I was playing with what I thought was a couple of examples of MasterTalk heading my way in your writing. I underlined them above. I was being a bit picky with you as I think you are enjoying this exactitude.

Keep having fun.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #80757
03/12/11 06:56 PM
03/12/11 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I wonder how to move these discussions to a place where everyone can find them and where they fit. I think mostly we are chatting about MasterTalk which to my way of thinking is either under Communication Topic 7 or Bullying Topic 3. Things feel a bit out of control for me.
Al, you can get posts moved if it helps with keeping things organized. If you contact a moderator with the post numbers I assume they could help you with that.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #80901
03/13/11 03:08 AM
03/13/11 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I wonder how to move these discussions to a place where everyone can find them and where they fit.
Just be sure to leave a forwarding address!

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
By that I mean how much passion/energy is behind him a) making his point and b) potentially trying to suppress anyone (me) expressing disagreement. I and my Lizard are in the process of determining what we are gonna do about this character. Do we just raise our energy to match his? Do we (my Lizard and I) decide to withdraw? Do we call 911? I think this is all about mobilizing my Boundary Skills, keeping me safe and then being curious about this person's point.
Thank you for the clarification. My response in either (a) or (b) is actually about the same. (I assume the situation is not one in which I am in actual physical danger) If someone is trying to suppress disagreement, then they are certainly not going to be open to my ideas, so I put aside any thoughts of doing that just yet. My take is that anyone attempting to do this is acting from some kind of pain or fear (or other uncomfortable, highly negative emotion), and so my validation will address those underlying feelings. My experience has been that in such cases the idea that is being expressed in the beginning is simply a coded message to express those feelings.

So I am in agreement with:
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I think this person's temporary idea of suppressing different opinions is a more significant issue than the point he is trying to make. So I approach that first.
...and I do approach it differently.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I want opinions being expressed in an environment of openness. If he don't wanna do that, I don't wanna talk with him. Might be a bit tough here, but I don't wanna enable his opinion-suppressing behavior.
Perhaps you feel that validating the feelings that underlie this behavior is agreeing that it is okay to reject any other points of view.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If he wants to be a "bully" that is ok by me, but I don't think he is entitled to me hanging around while he does that. I believe this is the way to get rid of that habit. I am assertively working to change his habits. Passion is fine. Suppressing opposition views is not acceptable to me.
Nor I. The question is what responses will allow for the best chance for that message to be received by that person, i.e. the boundary. I believe that when they are enmeshed in expressing a unitary orthodoxy that they are not at all open to hearing any of my thoughts, let alone boundaries. So for me it works best to have boundaries follow validation. In other words, I have found that even someone "like that" will be able to hear my message - especially one that expresses a desire to have all opinions valued - when they themselves feel heard and validated themselves.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
The other thing I was playing with what I thought was a couple of examples of MasterTalk heading my way in your writing. I underlined them above. I was being a bit picky with you as I think you are enjoying this exactitude.
You are quite right about my enjoying being precise - and I do appreciate having them brought to my attention. It highlights the need for my having a deeper understanding of you in this area. And I judge that my being so far off in this is yet more evidence in support of my not acting like an "expert" on anyone else. So thank you again for pointing this out.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #80908
03/13/11 03:19 AM
03/13/11 03:19 AM
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Al knows we will move anything he wants to any place he wants. In fact, I think he can on his own since we assigned or were supposed to assign moderator privileges to Al in his forum.

BTW Al, I have been having fun with Lizard. You may have noticed "My Lizard ate my Homework." wink

Larry


It's often the truth we hide from ourselves that causes the most damage in life.

My old email address no longer works.
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #81106
03/13/11 11:08 PM
03/13/11 11:08 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I want opinions being expressed in an environment of openness. If he don't wanna do that, I don't wanna talk with him. Might be a bit tough here, but I don't wanna enable his opinion-suppressing behavior.
Perhaps you feel that validating the feelings that underlie this behavior is agreeing that it is okay to reject any other points of view.
Actually I see this as a boundary statement. I can always Validate his beliefs, feelings, etc. I can Validate his desire to shut up dissent. But I think I cannot Validate anything if I hide my existence - if I lay low. In fact, I handle the word "agree" with gloves, based on the experience of finding it most often to be "bull...."

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If he wants to be a "bully" that is ok by me, but I don't think he is entitled to me hanging around while he does that. I believe this is the way to get rid of that habit. I am assertively working to change his habits. Passion is fine. Suppressing opposition views is not acceptable to me.
Nor I. The question is what responses will allow for the best chance for that message to be received by that person, i.e. the boundary.
Actually I think it more a question of who makes this decision. You would make the decision your way and I would make it my way. We can certainly chat about our unique validity. I really don't think there is a right way to respond to bully behavior.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I believe that when they are enmeshed in expressing a unitary orthodoxy that they are not at all open to hearing any of my thoughts, let alone boundaries. So for me it works best to have boundaries follow validation. In other words, I have found that even someone "like that" will be able to hear my message - especially one that expresses a desire to have all opinions valued - when they themselves feel heard and validated themselves.
Yup tis a decision, I think, to be made on the spot. If you are in a professional clinic, this is called a "clinical decision," and IRL I think it is just a decision.

If a guy is holding a loaded .45 pistol on me, I'll validate first. In my office, assuming this character came to me (is paying me), I will most likely move to interrupting the "dissent not allowed mode" first. However, the .45 trumps all.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #81130
03/14/11 01:21 AM
03/14/11 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I want opinions being expressed in an environment of openness. If he don't wanna do that, I don't wanna talk with him. Might be a bit tough here, but I don't wanna enable his opinion-suppressing behavior.
Perhaps you feel that validating the feelings that underlie this behavior is agreeing that it is okay to reject any other points of view.
Actually I see this as a boundary statement. I can always Validate his beliefs, feelings, etc. I can Validate his desire to shut up dissent. But I think I cannot Validate anything if I hide my existence - if I lay low.
I'm choosing to leave the context here to gain clarity. I am confused by the statement "hiding my existence - if I lay low" since that is not what is being advocated. Perhaps it is referring to what had been stated earlier about wanting to "be invisible" when listening. Maybe I need to clarify what was meant by that and what it looks like in this type of scenario.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
In fact, I handle the word "agree" with gloves, based on the experience of finding it most often to be "bull...."
Then help me understand what was meant by "enabling his opinion-suppressing behavior." It implied to me that what was being suggested would somehow have this effect.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Actually I think it more a question of who makes this decision. You would make the decision your way and I would make it my way. We can certainly chat about our unique validity.
I was under the impression that's what was happening! And as always, has been very helpful and enjoyable for me. smile


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #81198
03/14/11 05:27 AM
03/14/11 05:27 AM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Since there is so much interest, both in Marriage Advocates and elsewhere, I'm creating this sub-topic to catch these discussions.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #81741
03/15/11 03:14 PM
03/15/11 03:14 PM
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Fiddler Offline
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Thank you Al! And congratulations on going green!


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #81887
03/15/11 07:20 PM
03/15/11 07:20 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I am confused by the statement "hiding my existence - if I lay low" since that is not what is being advocated.
Well, communication does get confusing. If you and I mix up what I have trying to share with what you are trying to share, I am sure we will get tangled. I can clarify what I am saying or you can go first.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Perhaps it is referring to what had been stated earlier about wanting to "be invisible" when listening.
Close, but I am thinking of something I believe to be bigger. About some of the trouble that comes from "being invisible" or of "listening quietly, etc." Freud and all those guys trained everyone in a lot of listening. My buddy Wm Reich turned the therapy chair around to face the client/analisand and went eye-to-eye. I like that metaphor.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Maybe I need to clarify what was meant by that and what it looks like in this type of scenario.
Please share.

Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
In fact, I handle the word "agree" with gloves, based on the experience of finding it most often to be "bull...."
Then help me understand what was meant by "enabling his opinion-suppressing behavior." It implied to me that what was being suggested would somehow have this effect.
Tis a place where being quiet I think leads to trouble. If he thinks I agree, he can easily take it as a kind of submission that he is used to. I want him to be validated in an environment that protects his thoughts and those of others - in this case me. What I am focusing on is mutually or at least personally maintaining a safe place for sharing differences.

Did I move this to the topic on MasterTalk the title confuses me. I think Larry said that would happen if I moved things. Ah well.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #81888
03/15/11 07:22 PM
03/15/11 07:22 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Well, I've aways been green (turtle humor). I don't know what benefit comes with being green except an ability to move posts, and have a lot of other options on my screen. But thanks for the kudos.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #81970
03/15/11 10:44 PM
03/15/11 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I am confused by the statement "hiding my existence - if I lay low" since that is not what is being advocated.
Well, communication does get confusing. If you and I mix up what I have trying to share with what you are trying to share, I am sure we will get tangled. I can clarify what I am saying or you can go first.
Okay, I'll go first, since it might clear things up. First, I think I need to explain better what I mean by "invisible." By this, I do not mean that my presence or existence is being hidden, nor am I "laying low" or even being quiet. It is more a matter of focusing all the attention and energy (in that moment) on what the speaker is expressing. My experience has been that when listening and I use any language that directs attention to me, the listener, it directs the speaker's attention away from themselves, and they tend to be less attuned to what they are thinking and feeling. This is not what I desire from the interaction; the more in touch the speaker gets with what the are trying to express, the better I believe I can hear and understand it. And also, I believe, the clearer the thoughts and feelings will be to the speaker.

"Invisible" actually does include facing them with eye contact, and even leaning in when it seems appropriate. (Not doing that actually tends to makes the listener more "visible" IME.) It also means matching the intensity of what is being expressed. If they are quiet, then my responses are quiet as well. If they are intense, then my responses are also intense (but just slightly less so than theirs). Interestingly, I have found that having my own intensity too low in those situations actually makes me more "visible."

So when I want to be "invisible" it means that I am actually quite connected with the speaker.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Maybe I need to clarify what was meant by that and what it looks like in this type of scenario.
Please share.
Well, since you asked! smile

It is my assumption that such absolutist universal proclamations occur when someone's Lizard is running the show. In that moment, I also assume that their Lizard is expressing things that way because any possibility of another point of view is too scary for their Lizard. Now my second assumption is that as long as their Lizard is in control and is scared, there is no way it will hear any thoughts of mine - including (especially) expressing that there needs to be openness to other ideas. I recognize that you have much more experience with this than I, and I cannot recall a single instance when a Lizard felt safe by that.

My third assumption is that the manner in which the opinion is being expressed is as important - if not more so - than the thought itself. If that is indeed a significant part of the (coded) message, then I validate that; my disagreement about that is less important to me than validating them. I believe that validation has nothing to do with whether I agree or not.

Now when I'm listening and validating and what is being expressed is critical of someone else (Republicans/Democrats/Unions/etc) I am careful to not play into that and agree how bad "they" are (whether I agree or not). Instead, I concentrate on the underlying angst or uncomfortable feelings that are driving it. This is crucial, I believe, and is similar to the difference that you have written about regarding sympathy versus empathy. In this context, sympathy is agreeing how terrible "they" are; empathy is hearing them and validating their right to their POV and their feelings.

I can see that I have not kept this short; I wish I could somehow cut it down and still convey my thoughts adequately. I hope it at least clarifies what I had been trying to express.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #82156
03/16/11 12:50 PM
03/16/11 12:50 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
By this, I do not mean that my presence or existence is being hidden, nor am I "laying low" or even being quiet. It is more a matter of focusing all the attention and energy (in that moment) on what the speaker is expressing.


I was just reading about exactly this looking up Caring Days on Al's site. I've been doing this for some time now, and I wanted to say, while I was able to do this being the listener with my ex, and it worked well for us, his listening deepened, too, I tried to carry it over into other areas, with mixed results. Some friendships and family relationship, especially with my kids, deepened, and that was awesome. The sharing and interest are two-sided, and we both feel a deeper connection. But like at work, a few folks come by and "dump" and go, without expressing interest or concern for me and mine, too, and it creates resentment. So I can understand why Al creates an understanding up front, and I'd like to do that.

How do you keep from creating resentment dealing with someone who wants to be known, but isn't interested in knowing you?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: NewEveryDay] #82176
03/16/11 02:10 PM
03/16/11 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
How do you keep from creating resentment dealing with someone who wants to be known, but isn't interested in knowing you?
Something feels uncomfortable about all interactions being one-sided with this person. And you've expressed to them how you want to share your thoughts as well as listen, and it still continues. Maybe you would be willing to share more about what the resentment is about.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #82206
03/16/11 03:55 PM
03/16/11 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
How do you keep from creating resentment dealing with someone who wants to be known, but isn't interested in knowing you?
Something feels uncomfortable about all interactions being one-sided with this person. And you've expressed to them how you want to share your thoughts as well as listen, and it still continues. Maybe you would be willing to share more about what the resentment is about.


I think I have the same question.
Maybe it has to do with boundary issues and the expectation (unspoken) that I am willing to "listen to you" if you are willing to "listen to me". Then, when this isn't reciprocated, I have resentment that my expectation has not been met. (Does that sound right? It's how I read N*E*D's comment.)
This is certainly how I feel sometimes, then I realize it's up to me to make my expectations clear up front (about wanting to be heard). Then I only have "me" to get mad at when it doesn't happen. (Oh, oh, I just gave up the "passive master" spot! )

Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #82214
03/16/11 04:04 PM
03/16/11 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
(Oh, oh, I just gave up the "passive master" spot! )


Oops! I think I meant the "victim" spot! My bad.

Re: Topic 3b: "Stop the MasterTalk" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #82225
03/16/11 04:32 PM
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For me, it depends on my relationship with the person and whether it is an ongoing issue. As alluded to, the first thing I might do is check out my own expectations and evaluate how realistic they might be. I know some people who are in so much pain that they are not really capable of hearing me. With many of those, I choose to listen and validate with no expectations of any reciprocation.

In a more egalitarian relationship, if I have some thoughts while the other person is expressing theirs, then I have found it helpful to put them aside until they have felt fully heard and validated. Until then, they are not likely to be open to hearing my thoughts, and will typically be mentally tapping their feet until I finish. It's less important to me to say my thoughts than to have them received.

When I judge that they do feel heard (and IRL this is very evident), I might say something like "I have some thoughts I'd like to share, and I wonder if there is openness to hearing them." The answer may be "yes" or "no" (and sometimes a "yes" is really a "no").

In a marriage, it is different, although I apply the same principles. I view intimacy as the sharing of innermost thoughts and feelings, and also view intimacy as one of the most important dimensions of the relationship. So I do have an expectation that my spouse will be willing to hear me at some point. However, even here, it's a matter of timing and the nature of the discussion. If my wife is expressing a difficult interaction with someone (even me) then I choose (most of the time these days) to focus in that moment on what she is feeling. If for whatever reason there is no opportunity for me to share with her in that moment, I am confident that there will be a time later that I can. And vice versa I might add.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
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