"I wonder what I should make for dinner?" I asked my husband.
"We're going to my parents. I told you that."
"No, you didn't."
"I was on the phone with my mom, so I thought you figured that out."
"But, you didn't tell me."
"Well, there were a number of phone calls between my mom and my sister regarding the time. I thought you were listening."
"No, I wasn't listening to your phone call, so how was I to know?" I asked, agitatedly.
This was a conversation that was becoming untied and quickly.
Then, I got it!
"Next time, please let me know when we've been invited out. I'd like to feel like I'm part of the decision."
How much effort do we use to defend, attack or find excuses, rather than just accept and correct?
By cutting the strings that tie us to out-dated modes of expression, and weaving in new ways to communicate, we become more adept at honouring ourselves and the listener. The other person may not always agree, but we can feel good about the way in which we handled the situation.
This is a skill that I'm improving, thanks to the power and courage of my heart. Communication can break down under stress. We may say things we regret, or we don't say them well. The true message gets lost under a blanket of hurts, regrets and past experiences.
With a short, heart-driven pause, the stress-cycle is interrupted and a different part of the brain is activated. One that allows you to present your thoughts and views logically and coherently.
What did you notice about the last two lines of the interchange between my husband and I? When have you had conversation turn-arounds? How did you feel?