Listening is a skill. Some have almost an artful hand at it, but it is a skill none the less. We will be demonstrating listening in some of our videos to aid you in the skill transfer process, but let us take a moment to understand how humans communicate.
Everyone lies. They lie on purpose. They lie on accident. They lie subtly and they lie quite grandly. Sometimes they lie to protect themselves, sometimes they lie to endear themselves to others and sometimes they lie to avoid conflict. But everyone lies at some level. We need to learn how to hear what’s actually being said and not necessarily the words or tone. The next goal is to encourage more truth. Clarity and sincerity will proffer more accuracy in the words. Accurate communication requires that YOU be sincere or it is a house of cards that falls down.
Let’s look at the various points of communication:
1. Tone of voice
2. Words utilized
3. Context of words utilized
4. Facial Expression(s)
5. Body Language
6. Eye Contact (or lack of it)
7. Rate and Pitch of speech
There are other indicators of agenda and we should have a good understanding of the personality profile of who we are talking with (see: Personality Plus blog), their primary fears, trauma timeline, instincts that are hyperactive and their biggest defective traits they fall back on when challenged. (You will learn more about that in later inventory modules) This data will allow us to see into the person we are speaking with very well.
How to Listen
Listen with a quiet nature. Make direct and sincere eye contact. Don’t talk over the person, but if they run on you will need to find a pause and say “Okay let me use some words, is that okay?” You may need to repeat this quite a bit with certain personality profiles. As you listen look for signs that you are triggering blatant dishonesty.
Their eyes can’t meet yours
If their head/eyes are looking down or side to side that is recall...up is imagination (Displacement in eye contact can be avoidance and indicate dishonesty, but it can also mean trust issues. Learn to discern.)
Their speech starts to speed up or pitch goes higher
They get defensive (very) Sometimes defensive posture is an indication that they feel misunderstood and are afraid of being punished or judged incorrectly. If you have a history of misfires in understanding this could happen quite often.
You can get a baseline of the process they use to misdirect when you ask personal data questions with regards to issues that scare them and note how they respond. When you do get a sincere answer for a tough question...Compliment them on how honest they are being and tell them how much closer you feel to them when they are genuine. Then if you can inject a truth of your own: experience, what you did, the outcome and start off by saying: “I want to build trust with you so I want to share this experience of mine”. As you demonstrate more sincerity they will become more authentic, but they need to know that you are making a real effort to do it.
Note the moments that your friend is sharing authentically. Looking in your eyes, thoughtful words, honest content. (Compliment) follow up with your truth and build a step by step sense of trust. The recipe is a simple rinse, lather, repeat exercise:
1. Be prepared and know them as you go deeper into data
2. Give the sincerity you wish to receive
3. When they are giving physical indicators that they are lying (note it)
4. When they are giving indicators of honesty compliment and follow up with our own.
5. Keep them accountable ie: ask for their eyes, invite them to really try and share from the heart and when they do, compliment and do the same.
Repeat the process over and over and ultimately their self esteem and instincts will start to feel closer to you and begin sharing more truth more often.
Build partnership of sharing in 7 primary categories:
6. Sense of Appreciation (Love)
7. Body intimacy is the only category you shouldn’t develop unless you intend to be or are currently lovers (that is reserved for lovers)
But, as they share more and more in each of these categories, and you do as well, the intimacy will grow and so will the truth and the ability to listen and be heard. Remember the big issues:
2. Communicating with all of your body
3. Building trust
4. Allowing misunderstandings to not be painful experiences. Learn to trust each other and re-explain calmly what is not clear.
Imagine 2 different personality profiles trying to communicate broken behavior. Imagine that these 2 adults have trauma from the past that has clouded their perspectives. They can not see from the other person’s vantage point without help. They only see the world from theirs. They have mixed agenda, different eyes and if they are a man and a woman, they could have very different styles of talking. Perhaps they have trust issues. Perhaps one of them gets aggressive when misunderstood and the other condemns.
What are all of the potential issues? Could you see how small things could become big things quite quickly? Small things should stay small.
We will need to be patient with our lover. We will need to develop sincerity and this could take time. As we bridge the chasm of mistrust we will have quite a few fails. She will yell, he will judge. She will speak with her truth and he will hear something different. She will hide her true feelings and thoughts, and he will guess. He will guess wrong just enough to be seen as callous. He will be playful, she will hear hurtful. He will hide his thoughts but the stash inside will grow and eventually he will bust. They will have combat.
She needs to be supported for being genuine. He needs to be complimented for listening patiently.
She needs to be free to be mad and he deserves her to not scream her anger.
He needs to be free to be wrong and then correct himself when he notices.
She needs to not have the past brought up over and over.
She deserves to be complimented for small changes.
He deserves credit for admitting his faults.
She wants to be loved as she is but encouraged to be more.
He wants to know that he is safe in his relationship and that she won’t leave him in a trigger.
They are afraid. So many pitfalls. So many opportunities to get it wrong and so much pain when they do. It is time to slow down and begin loving each other by “practicing” giving them what they need. The first step is to begin doing inventory:
3. Sex Conduct
8. Daily thoughts/actions
9. Trauma time line
10. Personality Profile
Cross share. Get to know your lover. See them. Truly see them. If you do not love your partner as they truly are then you are a misfit. It is okay to leave and find your fit, but if you see them and truly love them as they are then you have relationship gold. All of us want to be accepted and adored for our actual self. This does not mean that we accept our baggage and bad behavior and rest on our laurels. It simply means that “I am worth loving as I am” and I can be more. I can grow and change. I can bring a better me to the one I love each and every day. This is the most romantic thing anyone can do for another. Keep your flowers and candy. Bring a better you to the table it is where passion really lives.
As you cross share the true self with each other you will learn your vocabulary, agenda and pain points. You will learn what drives you into positive action and what arrests you. I am always working towards “knowing” who I am talking to. Know them.
To speak to a stranger is an easier task if you are sincere and aware of reading signs of personality profile and agenda quickly. You can adjust your language to meet them in the middle and be understood. You can connect with so many humans in your world if you are willing to understand them. You are the English speaking adult shouting to the Spanish speaker louder and louder the same words, and expecting them to finally hear and understand that you need a bus ticket. They will not understand your words simply because you shout them or repeat them. One of you needs to speak the other’s language. You must or you will not communicate.
Practice "telling the truth". You will never be completely honest, but you can practice and get better at being genuine each day. It is the most important quality to clear communication. The person you must be most honest with is yourself. The faster you can see your own misdeed or misfire, admit and correct it then the faster you will build trust and connection with your lover. The three steps to abolishing conflict when you have done something wrong:
1. Let them be heard
2. Admit your mistake
3. Make it right
Take out the stash and your heart will be free of painful agenda. You will be more patient and humble. You will find it easier to listen to others without taking criticism as punishment. You will grow and be more. You will be the best listener you have ever been and happy to change.
Want to see what you really look and sound like? Video tape a conflict resolution with your lover with your phone. Afterwards look at it. How was your body? Where were your eyes? What did your voice sound like? Aggressive? Condescending? Calm? Superior? Sarcastic? Did you talk over them? Did you admit your own issues or keep pounding them for theirs? Did you say the same words over and over expecting to be finally understood? Did you accept their words or deny their truth? Did you re-explain yourself more clearly?
If you can see areas where you can both improve then compliment each other on the points of small change and your willingness to grow and try again, and again and again. This will take time. It will go faster if you set about 20 min or more each day to cross share your truth of the past and “know” each other better. Built the trust so that they conflicts will dissolve faster. Forgive more and be patient. You are in this for the long haul and you both have room to grow.
If you are the only one that is willing to change, over time “One will grow and One will go”. It is your choice to be with or not be with someone that will not grow with you. This is your time to be honest with YOU, but give them a little time to come around before you extort and leave. They may simply be afraid. Work on your communication and you might find your partner is willing to be more to keep you. If not, then there is someone out there that is. For sure. I promise one thing, if you change then the person that you sleep with at night will change or be changed. We can only attract our mirrors anyways. So grow!