Routine Steps to be followed for Mutual Understanding.

Friday, 30 May 2014 0 comments

Here are three skills that I think are definitely worth considering to help you have a healthy understanding. For most people these skills don't come too easily, but they can be learned and worked on.  I think you'll find they will make a big difference, and will help you have a positive impact on your relationship.

Mutual Understanding

1. Affinity

Affinity refers to being able to step into another person’s shoes and understand their experience and point of view so that you can gain an appreciation of how they feel, and then step out again. Of course, you also have to be able to convey your insights to that person accurately for them to benefit from your efforts at understanding.

Affinity requires a Jedi mind trick of sorts: You have to close your eyes and literally imagine being the other person. You have to get a sense of their perspective, their reality, their priorities, their expectations, their assumptions, and their concerns. Only then should you introduce the current pressing situation into the scene and imagine how the other person perceives the situation and how they might feel about it.

Affinity is a crucial relationship skill in and of itself, but it is also related to the next essential relationship skill. . .

2. Hysterical Proof

When your spouse or partner is angry or upset with you, the last thing you might think to do is fan the flames by telling them they have every right to feel the way they do. But when you convey that exact message—from a place of sympathy and understanding—something magical happens. Rather than inciting their sadness or fury or fuelling their fire, your message of emotional validation can actually douse the flame.

Why does this paradoxical result occur?

Hysterical Proof is something we all seek and crave, typically far more than we realize. When we are upset, angry, frustrated, disappointed or hurt, the thing we want most is for our partner to "get it," to understand why we feel the way we do. We want them to validate our feelings by conveying their understanding to us with a generous dollop of sympathy.

When they do so accurately—which requires employing Affinity —the relief and catharsis we experience is tremendous. We can then attain an authentic visceral "release" and begin to let go some of the feelings we've built up. Taking a leap of faith and conveying emotional validation to your partner, especially in the midst of an argument, can actually calm things down and allow warmer feelings to return.

Hysterical Proof and Affinity are hugely important relationship skills in and of themselves. They are augmented by the third essential relationship skill on our list. . .

3. Attention and Comity

Couples consistently underestimate the impact small gestures of consideration can have on the tone and dynamics of their relationship. I’ve seen time and again how leaving a nice card, bringing flowers, allowing the other person to sleep in, preparing a favorite meal, offering a kind word or an affectionate hug, or introducing a soft and loving tone, can quickly put a stop to a tense and negative dynamic and return the relationship to a positive communication track.

Obviously, flowers or a hug cannot undo every hurt. But when things get tense, civility, good will, and consideration are too often replaced by tension, impatience, and negativity. One person treats the other poorly, which makes that partner feel less considerate as well—and on and on the vicious cycle goes.

These three relationship skills go hand in hand. Together they form a foundation of caring, trust, and connection to which couples can more easily return when they find themselves in times of stress, tension, or emotional distance. Of course, for couples to benefit from these skills, they should make an effort to practice them, get better at them, and integrate them into their daily thinking and communication.
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