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What Did You Say? The Importance Of Exercising Your Vocal Chords

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I recently read an article that suggested that the face of marriage is changing. That’s right, it implicated that marriage is being “revolutionized” by “savvy” young couples who are not making this everlasting commitment without a WAY OUT. That’s right, these are the children of parents who may have been part of a revolution of their own, setting the stage for the staggering statistics of divorce rates today. And, regardless of the scars of disappointment, hurt, and possibly shame, their offspring, are following in their footsteps.

According to the article and experts, these often part-time paramours not only bear the markings of their parent’s failed marriages and relationships, but are the by-products of it, including being part of a much more self-centered generation that is use to “being spoiled” and getting what they want. In fact, compromise is rarely a part of their (desired) vocabulary. But there’s also another C-word that these couples are not too familiar with, and that’s communication. In fact, lack of communication is a common culprit in the fall of modern marriage.

Couples admit that regardless of their dating history, there are things they never knew about each other. Sure they may have discussed some personal and intimate details, but there were pertinent parts about their belief system, lifestyle, ambitions and aspirations that one or the other somehow failed to reveal. In fact, one woman suggested that she didn’t discover that her husband was “boring” until after the “I Dos”.

In fact, it seems more an more couples are, as they’ve put it, dashing to the alter as an “excuse” to host an elaborate party, and using marriage as a stepping stone to test the relationship and it’s dynamic and children as the “commitment” that eventually seals the (real) deal.

And, experts suggest that communication breakdown can plague more than just our marriage, but our friendships and professional relationships; suggesting that the issue is often in our inability to express ourselves (though that may be part of the problem) but in our ability to listen and hear what is being said.

Professionals point out the enhancing our listening skills can significantly enhance the quality of our relationships and ultimately our lives. They add that not listening prevents YOU from “hearing” the point and it sends a clear message to the speaker that you are disinterested in his or her opinion and feelings and that what he or she is saying is simply not important. Indirectly you are telling making that person feel unloved, unappreciated and unimportant, and that they should only reveal things that you’d be interested in hearing. And, YOU may be missing some very important key information and points.

Improving the health of your relationships also means improving your listening habits and skills. And, it can help prevent a lot of disappointment, frustration, or unwanted surprises.

· Develop A “Fantastic Voyage” Mentality: We all have plenty to say, but if no one is listening who will hear us. That’s one of the many reasons we need to show others the same courtesy (when they are speaking) that we want them to show us. Plus, communication often reveals many interesting and important facts about the other person. Be careful to pay close attention and before jumping to any conclusions, prepare your mind for the trip they are about to take you on via conversation. In fact, talking can reveal a great deal about someone.

Curb your “adolescent” mentality of trying to move past the discussion and on with your day or your point. Think about all the negatives associated with that type of attitude and how much you can miss when you’re busy thinking about how to respond rather than hearing what the other person is exposing or has to say.

· Give The Other Person Their Space: The space to speak their mind that is. And, that means not changing the topic because you think the point is trivial, looking around the room, interrupting, or finishing their thought(s).

Your partner or person you are speaking to may start withholding essential information if they detect they are not being taken seriously or if they believe that is really doesn’t matter one way or another to you. And, that opens Pandora’s box for misunderstanding and some perhaps unpleasant “surprises” in the future.

Not only should you be quiet when the other is speaking say experts, put you should really focus on the point the other is trying to get across, including their body language, facial expressions, tonality, and words they use; the whole package can be very insightful and revealing.

· Read Between The Lines: Look at what your partner, friend, etc is saying to you when he or she is not speaking. Look at how they handle life, difficulties, others etc and take note. Remember non-verbal communication tells you much more than the other party may be willing to reveal and it can help you accept (or reject, if you’re not already committed) your differences and clue you in on how to handle or approach her or him.

· Show Empathy: Do this for yourself as well as for the other person. People talk to others to allow them into their special situation or world, and they need to know or feel that they can trust the listener. The more empathy you show the more information the other party will “spill”.

Experts suggest responding with carefully thought out, caring and creative follow up questions that will give your leverage for “probing” for more information without being obvious.

· Make Time To Talk: Don’t just make idle chatter, but instead set aside quality time to invest in conversation. Remember, quality conversation takes time and energy, so make sure you are both alert and not preoccupied. In fact, experts suggest penciling in time to really connect or reconnect and get to know each other, to help keep things alive and fresh. And, make sure each person gets his or her turn to unload or speak.

Long Island Relationship Articles > What Did You Say? The Importance Of Exercising Your Vocal Chords

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