Listening Dialogue for couples. (10 minutes exactly)
Time: Do this regularly, every day if you can. Plan times
Topics: One person picks a topic, for this dialogue it is about your own experience. My feeling of frustration, my sense of inadequacy, or my fears, that person is called the sender. The other is the receiver.
Do not expect anything. This is not a way of solving problems. Fixing each other. It is about knowing each other. Connecting.
Turns: The next time the other person picks a topic.
1. The sender begins
Use these words: I would like to have a five minutes to talk about my topic...
2. The sender talks
Sender starts using the words "I feel... (sad, annoyed, frudtrated, happy, confused)"
The receiver can frequently mirror back exact words or phrases, but only exact words or phases. Nothing else, no paraphrasing.
When five minutes are almost up the receiver says:
a: The main thing on your mind is...
EG: "You are worried that our holiday will turn bad like last time."
b: I imagine you feel: (Pick strong single feeling words): sad, scared, happy etc.
The sender becomes the receiver. The person wh has been receiveing now responds for five minutes on what has been coming up in them.
Thank each other and say one thing you appreciate about your partner.
For example: Thank you, I appreciated the way you did not interrupt, I know that was hard to do.
Email me any question and I will answer them, and put them here.
Question: When I was the receiver I found it hard not to but in when there were simple errors of fact, should I just ignore those, seems silly!
Answer: Don't butt in. But you can bring it up in your response in this dialogue if you are the one to go second. Or, you can bring it up in the next dialogue as a topic. One thing to avoid is to talk about it immediately after the dialogue.
The important thing is to keep the dialogues simple and safe. The dialogues are like a safe island, a sanctuary. You can use them but don't let them lead to arguments outside the dialogues. If there is lots of unresolved stuff, take that away and mull it over, and bring it back when it is your turn for a topic.