Be Heard Through Their Frustration
At the height of an emotionally charged discussion, you might feel like yelling, “Will you please just shut up and listen!” But that tactic most likely won’t achieve what you want to accomplish—to be heard. Instead, use these tips and techniques to get your point across to your loved ones.
Elements of Communication
With all forms of communication, there is a message, a sender of that message, a receiver, and a method of sending the message. Sounds simple, right? However, anywhere along that loop, there can be a breakdown. Even though you think you have an important message to communicate, you might not get the type of response you want from the receiver. Although each situation is unique, there are some common reasons why communication fails.
Talking Too Much
If you want someone to listen to you, avoid rambling or bringing up irrelevant issues. Also, if you want to talk about a major issue that’s been on your mind for a long time, avoid presenting everything all at once without any warning. Psychic Reed ext. 5105 explains: “It is sometimes best to talk about it a little, and then let the other person have the same opportunity that you had—to process their thoughts, sleep on it, look at different angles, then return to the discussion.” Adds Psychic Gina Rose ext. 9500: “Keep it short and to the point. If the other person is really interested, they’ll come back and want more details.”
Being Too Blunt
On the other hand, be careful about being too blunt. There is a saying from the Vedanta philosophy that advises, “Speak the truth, but not a harsh truth. Speak kindly, but not an untruth.” Although honesty is important, keep in mind that the receiver might have some defenses in place to help protect him or her from being hurt.
In his book, Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? John Powell suggests a couple of ways to gently approach your loved one. For example, you could say: “I really don’t know why… maybe it’s my streak of cowardice… but I feel afraid to tell you something, and yet I know that I must be honest with you… This is the truth as I see it…”
Or try this: “I don’t know why this bothers me, but it does… I guess that I am just hypersensitive, and I really don’t mean to imply that it is your fault, but I do feel hurt by what you are saying.”
If the purpose of your conversation is to try and get the other person to behave differently, the book Semantics and Communication by John C. Condon, Jr., reminds us that people “seem to prefer to do things we think we want to do, not things we are told to do.” So avoid outright telling someone to do something. Instead, get the other person to feel like it’s his or her own idea.
One way to accomplish that is to reward the desired behavior whenever the person does it. For example, if you thank your honey and give him a kiss each time he helps around the house, he’ll do it more often—without you telling him to.
Not Engaging the Listener’s Emotions
To make another person care about what you’re saying, try to tap into the other’s emotions. One way to capture their emotions is to tell a story that relates to the message you want to convey. In the book Tell to Win by Peter Guber, CNN journalist Anderson Cooper talks about the power of storytelling.
“Even if your only goal is for them to hear you, you still need to move their emotions,” he remarks. During Cooper’s news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, he broke from journalistic tradition and showed his emotions while reporting. As a result, his ratings shot up, and viewers couldn’t get enough of him. His popular style of reporting, later dubbed “emo-journalism,” opened the door for other journalists to show their emotions and, thus, engage their audience’s emotions, too.
And remember that the emotions your story inspires don’t necessarily have to be sad or heartwarming. Some of the shortest and most poignant stories are what we call “jokes.” If you can think of a good “a guy walks into a bar” joke that tickles your listener’s sense of humor and lowers his or her defenses long enough to get your message across, then go for it.
If your creative juices aren’t flowing enough to get you started, call one of our psychics for some guidance on how to talk to your loved ones so they will listen.
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