Tuesday, March 01, 2011
I think we BOTH need to practice reflective listening, where we paraphrase, NOT BY ROTE, but with loving care, consideration, good intention and an effort at understanding, what the other person has just said. Eg: “Let me make sure I understand what you just said. Did you say your iPad crashed and ate that art piece you’ve been working on for three weeks? Was it the iPad that crashed or the program itself?”
Perhaps we need to learn to be more pc with each other, more “personally correct.” I think there is a time and place to be PC (politically correct) and a time and place to be pc (personally correct.) (By the way, to the best of my knowledge, I just made that term up.). The time to be PC or pc (personally correct) is when the situation is sensitive. I know you know what I mean—if there is a Polish person present, you don’t tell Polak jokes UNLESS it is a person who tells them and enjoys them himself. You don’t tell Italian jokes or blond jokes in front of an Italian or a blond. And if there is a person who makes a point of always being PC, you don’t tell any ethnic or un-PC type jokes in front of them. There is a time to be PC and a time to be un-PC—in the privacy of a relationship where you know the people and their tastes, you can be as unpolitically correct as is appropriate to that relationship. (Some people, like Alain Able, don’t seem to understand this concept and keep sending me sexual jokes that are inappropriate.) I know you know all this already, I’m not lecturing, I am using it as an analogy to my “new” concept of pc—personal correctness—an sort of extension of PC with wider ranging implications.
What I mean is that we BOTH need to learn to be more pc—personally correct—in our relationships with each other, by which I mean, more sensitive to the constraints of the persons personal needs, fear, “buttons,” hot points, mood, degree of tiredness and the sensitivity or difficulty of the topic. The more difficult the topic is, for either or both of us, the more careful we need to be to suppress our defensiveness, reassure each other, practice reflective listening, take our time, etc.
I want to say YES to our relationship, YES to our love, YES to our marriage, YES to growth, healing and deep communication.
I believe we should be able to talk to each other about anything at all, and to be successful at talking about some things, the more difficult ones, we may need to be ULTRA sensitive. At least at first and maybe for some time.
Sensitivity can include not joking or making humorous (or not so humorous, or pointed) remarks about things the other person is sensitive about, even if it seems funny. We can joke about our OWN shortcomings, but not those of the other until the sensitivity to that issues abates some.
Remember, I love you and WANT our relationship to THRIVE, not shrivel. I think good, open communication with honesty, integrity and trust is a key to a thriving relationship.
Both of us bring baggage to the table and it sits on the table between us, making conversation difficult and complex. Respectful and thoughtful reflective listening can help us understand one another. Maybe we could practice with silly things and light things until it becomes a habit and we can do it more naturally when we need to—when difficult discussions have to happen.
I hope you will agree to work on this with me. I want to love you better. I want you to love me better. And I think we are intelligent and loving enough to be able to do this.