Monday, April 5, 2010

Quotation 4 - Marianne Legato,MD, FACP

“Maybe he’s just not that interested in what you’re saying!”

Dr. Marianne Legato uses this statement to try and explain why a breakdown in communication occurs between men and women. She believes that if you want your man to maintain his side of a conversation than you had better choose a topic that will hold his interest. Legato’s beliefs for improving communication between men and women is to keep it simple and stick to the matter at hand.
I took this statement to heart because I frequently babble on to my husband about insignificant things that occur throughout my day. The issue here is that the response that I receive is typically – “uh ha, really, or hmmm. Nothing of any significance. I frequently want to reach over and check his pulse. However, there have been circumstances when he has gone into minute detail about garage issues that make me wish he knew the meaning of summerization.
With that being said I believe that when we converse with our spouse we need to have a little consideration for the subject matter to ensure active participation by both parties. If you don’t do a topic review for interest level, who is truly at fault if you do not receive the level of engagement you desire from you spouse?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Quotation 5 - Deborah Tannen

“The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.” - Deborah Tannen

One thing that I have learned in life is that everyone is an individual and we all have our own unique methods in life. Whether that is in regards to communication, eating, and dressing. or relationships with other is trivial. The important part is that we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. There is no one right or wrong method – it’s just our method.

By learning to adjust our listening skills to adapt to different methods of talking and conversation we should be able to carry on deep and meaningful conversations with anyone. The biggest concern with communication is that listening is a skill that needs to be practiced if it is going to be done effectively. By honing our listening skills we will be able to have a meaningful conversation that engages all parties, with everyone feeling satisfied.
Relationships are built on conversation skills and therefore the best ones tend to be those with whom we have the least difficulty in having a meaningful conversation with. I think that this is how we subconsciously choose our friends and mates.
Tannen statement is correct in that it would be a mistake to assume that there is only one correct method of conversation. I believe that as individuals we all have several different methods that we use to communicate, and we choose which method to use based on the circumstances that we are conversing in.

Quotation 3 - Dr. BlaineJ Fowers

"Among the married, marital satisfaction is much more important to personal well being than other factors such as occupational success, religion, housing, and finances combined. As Glenn (1991, p. 263) states, "it appears that having a very happy marriage is almost as essential to being personally very happy." - Dr. Blaine J Fowers

How true this statement is. The quote above puts into prospective just how important gender communication is for having a content life. If what he says is true, the communication that we have at home, for better or worse, affects every aspect of our happiness from that moment forward. For some reason when our marriage is going well everything else in life seems to follow suit and when things aren't well it seems to go that way also. This statement found near the beginning of Dr. Fowers' work had me convinced to use his work right out of the gate. His work discusses our virtues as our strengths to enhance our communication within our relationships. Dr. Fowers also discusses methods to coach couples to develop their communication weaknesses so it does not damage their relationship. In his work Dr. Fowers also discusses listening as the most important skill in communication.
After much thought about this quote I realize it is true. I thought back on the days when things were not well at home and realized that those were the days that I thought were “bad” and I seemed to have a negative attitude towards everything that I dealt with that day. I guess that having arguments and disagreements with the person closest to you will weigh heavy on your mind until it can be resolved.

Quotation 2 - Cynthia Burggraf Torppa

"Studies indicate that women, to a greater extent than men, are sensitive to the interpersonal meanings that lie between the lines in the messages that they exchange with their mates." - Cynthia Burggraf Torppa

This statement is obvious to most of us. However, by stating it Dr. Torppa puts more credibility to her work on the communication differences between men and women. She focuses on "why we speak, not so much on what is said." She uses the quote as a way of saying that women are much more focused on the why than the what. Men will hear what is said, however they do not tend to digest the information. They only pick up what is on the surface. Women tend to dig deeply into their mates conversations and men skim the surface tending to cause misunderstandings in relationships.
I get very frustrated with my husband when he doesn’t seem to understand the deeper meaning of something that I am trying to tell him. Why is it we believe that our spouses should be able to understand the subliminal and read our minds? I for one would never assume or even attempt to believe that I can read my husband’s mind. Although after thirteen years of marriage, it does appear that I can state something and he will follow up with “you know, that’s exactly what I was thinking.” Is it possible that communication becomes easier after time? If so, is it due to experience or education, or just getting smarter in my old age?????

Quotation 1 - Dr. James Fuller Jr., PhD, LCSW

" The beginning and the ending of dialogue and the erotic are indistinguishable and interwoven in a self-perpetuating pattern of reciprocal, intimate, gendered communication" - Dr. James Fuller, Jr.

My interpretation of this statement by Dr. Fuller is that communication needs to be a complete circle that touches on every aspect of the relationship and meets the needs of both parties. I also believe that in this statement he is indicating that communication does not have to be verbal, it can be in your touch, or the way that you look at someone. Regardless of the method of communication it is also important to remember that each and every aspect co-mingle and are not separate from one another. So what happens in the kitchen most definitely carries over to the bedroom!
Due to the fact that these important aspects of relationships are so closely related, it is important to remember that everything that we communicate to one another will affect every aspect of our relationships with each other. An argument over the children will undoubtedly affect how things are handled in other areas of your relationship.
By taking care with the words that we use with each other, the actions will take care of themselves. Never use demeaning or degrading language with your spouse because all though words can’t break bones, they can break a heart. Also remember that once you have said something that you can never take it back, it can be forgiven but never forgotten.

Source Evaluation - Bishop T.D. Jakes

Bishop T.D. Jakes is the pastor of Potter's House in Dallas where he has a congregation of over 30,000. He is also a best selling author of Before You Do.
His best marital experience comes from his 26 year marriage and the counseling he does for his congregation.

Bishop Jakes believes that the most important element of communication is listening.
Through his experience he believes that most couples do communicate it is the listening that goes by the way side.
He has five tips for listening that will improve a relationship
1. listen with your ears - he states "sometimes in conflict we do not listen to what the other person is saying because we are too busy preparing our arguement.
2. listen with your mind - "many times words are based on a point of reference that you may not be aware of." By listening with your mind you can understand where they are coming from and what they have been through.
3. listen with your heart - By listening with your heart you will feel compassion and understanding. By listening with your heart you will not only hear what has been said, but what was meant.
4. listen with humility - repeat what was said to make sure that you understood the conversation correctly. Half of the wars at home start with a misunderstanding.
5.listen with prayer - "it is critical to know that everything with your partner cannot be worked out without the help of God.

Bishop Jakes makes valid points to help with the communication issues in marriage. One half of communication is listening!

Source Evaluatio - Fowers

Blaine J. Fowers, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami's department of Educational and Psychological Studies.

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Jul;y 2001, Vol 27, No 3, 327-340

The Limits of a Technical Concept of a Good Marriage: Exploring the Role of Virtue in Communication Skills

Dr Fowers believes that teaching communication skills is the most common approach to improve couples' relationships. He has developed a method of communication skills based on Aristotle's virtues and tries to determine each person's individual strong suit to help ensure success in their education. He believes that many of his collegues overlook the virtues of a person's character as an asset to help enhance their communication skills.

By using Aristotle's concept of virtues Dr. Fowers believes it can help with the understanding of marital communication in three ways.
1. He believes that it can add a dimension of training to communication skills by allowing for character evaluation to see what virtues each spouse has and how they will benefit from any skills training.
2. It will recommend somewhere to start therapy. If the couple doesn't have the necessary virtues to start with skills training, then it would allow for them to receive the training necessary to develop those skills.
3. This type of training allows for therapy to help couples determine through a shared understanding of what is worth pursuing in their lives.