Talk about Talking
In this month’s issue of Psychology Today, married communication researchers, Walid and Tamara Afifi give a candid interview about their communication habits, from which I believe we can all learn.
“You have to have conversations about your conversations in order to recognize and correct unproductive patterns,” says Walid. “Talking about talking is as important as talking.”
Because the Afifis are steeped in communication research, they have evidence of how much people can change over time.
“Small steps are realistic; personality overhauls are not.”
The Afifis shared two pieces of information they learned while at a marriage education class, and I’d like to pass them on to you:
- Enforce a prohibition against exaggerations (“We never go out anymore!”)
- Paraphrase back to your mate what he or she has just said rather than “yessing” him or her away.
If you and your mate can stay aware of how you’re talking as much as what you’re saying, you’ll be way ahead of the game.