Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I’ve Got a Secret! – Wanna Know What it is?

So many of the couples that come to me for relationship coaching have a dis-ease… it’s called: audioapathy.

Audioapathy is a word I coined to describe the condition often experienced when partners become apathetic about listening when their partner talks with them. It is a dreaded dis-ease that can poison your relationship. Although it appears that men are more affected than women, some women also get it.

notlisteningIneffective communication can make us sad, resentful, upset, angry and more.

It’s important to approach difficult conversations with a spirit of understanding. For your partner to respect your feelings and needs, you need to feel safe to share your true feelings with them. If you don’t things usually get worse.

When your partner talks with you, do you think they feel heard? Do they have your full attention? Knowing how your conversations have gone in the past, do they already have an idea about how you will react before they even speak? This can cause you to become isolated from one another. Can you imagine how this causes them feel? When you are not listened to, remember how it caused you to feel? It can cause you both to drift apart. If your not listening causes them to shut down you have something that you need to do about that.

“Effective communication – especially in times of conflict – calls for a focused dedication and repetitious practice. It calls for honest self-evaluation, humility, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to change according to the needs of the relationship. And it takes (at least) two.” ~ Thom Rutledge, LCSW

It takes two people – both working on the relationship – together – to make it something of value.

The secret to communicating effectively with your partner is listening! Many of us are poor listeners. We lose interest as soon as out partner begins to talk about something that has been a concern or that has caused conflict in the past. We find ourselves dipping into our bag of tricks and using anything to avoid that conversation and it’s usually begins by not listening.

“According to the University of Missouri, it takes 25 percent of our mental capacity to hear what someone is saying, leaving the other 75 percent to wander wherever it wants. However, discipline and active engagement in the conversation can significantly improve your listening skills.” ~ Lily Obeck

just-listenListening can help you bridge the communication gap. Not listening usually leads to misunderstanding, frustration, irritation, hurt feelings and more conflict. It can cause your partner to shut down completely. Hearing what they are saying is a physical ability while listening is a skill. Listening skills allow one to make sense of and understand what your partner is saying.

The next time your partner wants to talk, stop whatever you are doing – turn off the TV and your cell phone – and make time to listen. It shows interest in the one you love. Don’t interrupt. Avoid distractions. Maintain eye contact. Nod your head. Never challenge your partner’s assumptions. Listening demonstrates respect. Listen with the intention of really hearing what they are saying. Be patient and understanding. This kind of active listening ensures that you are truly listening to the words that are being spoken.

It’s not as hard as it sounds. Simply keep your mouth shut. Not only will they be more willing to talk to you, but also you will discover that you are being more interested in what they have to say. You will also find that you will both become more interested in talking about the things that really matter.

They are not always right but neither are you. When you listen it’s easier to understand why they feel the way they do. Listen carefully. Digest what was said and perhaps take a brief time-out to think about how you will respond. Effective communication is not about you getting YOUR thoughts and feelings across when THEY are talking.

Yes, communication seems to always be at the top of the list of relationship problems. Bad communication is at the root of many serious marital problems, and is one of the leading causes of divorce. Being apathetic about listening is the nail in the coffin.

Sometimes it’s wise to enlist the help of a third party to help you get a clear perspective of what is really going on. Never be afraid to seek help.

So… again, the secret to communicating effectively with your partner is listening! Really listening!

BONUS Article: #1 Solution to Communication…

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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Monday, October 31, 2011

#1 Solution to Communication. . .

Filed under: Audioapathy,Communication,Listening — Larry James @ 9:00 am

communicateRelationship disagreements are disruptive to say the least. They make us sad, resentful, upset, angry and more.

There is no such thing as a relationship without conflict! There will always be a few bumps in the road. Some conflicts are small. Others are colossal and difficult to manage. How you resolve the conflict, not how many occur, is the critical factor in determining whether a relationship will be healthy or unhealthy, mutually satisfying or unsatisfying, friendly or unfriendly, deep or shallow, intimate or cold.

So… what’s the solution?

Communicate!… in a loving way!

“Effective communication – especially in times of conflict – calls for a focused dedication and repetitious practice. It calls for honest self-evaluation, humility, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to change according to the needs of the relationship. And it takes (at least) two.” ~ Thom Rutledge, LCSW

Communication is a word we often hear when people talk about improving relationships. In relationships it is the quality of the communication that makes the most difference, not necessarily the quantity or speed of delivery. If you are angry, it is wise to call for a “temporarily” time-out to give yourself some time to “think” about the words that you are about to speak. That is much better than flying off the handle and saying something that you will later regret. Think before you speak… Weigh your words!

couple_not_communicatingIt is a wise love partner who is aware of the potential damage loose words can cause. Words spoken in anger inflict wounds that sometimes take a long time to heal. Think first, then speak.

Communicating is not optional. It is an absolute necessity for the success of the relationship. Not communicating with your relationship partner – or not allowing them access to your thoughts and feelings – can exact a heavy price. A communications gap doesn’t only undermine the potential of the relationship; it can, and usually will eventually destroy the relationship.

The sound of silence in a relationship is deafening. The silent treatment sends many messages – “I’m not interested,” “I have nothing of value to say,” “Whenever I say something you argue with me,” “I give up. . . what’s the use?” and more.

Did you know that “listen” and “silent” use the same letters? Interesting side-note, eh?

In my opinion, the number one problem in relationships is “undelivered communication.” It’s the things we don’t communicate. We know we should but because the last time we did, it caused a confrontation, argument, anger, frustration and we want to avoid these feelings so we stuff them. The next thing you know is, your partner didn’t take out the garbage and you want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage.

This will help. Agree to talk about anything and everything, all the time. It is one of the best agreements you will ever make and one of the hardest to live up to. Talk about the things that are “relevant” to your relationship… not past relationships. Talking about past relationships often causes the disagreements you are trying to avoid.

It takes a lot of energy to remain confused. If you feel stuck, perhaps it’s time to get clear about confusion. As long as you remain confused, you will not have to commit to and/or take responsibility for a plan of action such as communicating with your partner or promising to make some positive changes.

Listening-SkillsTrapped energy causes you to cling to misconceptions about your relationship. The process of openly and honestly communicating will help you convert painful emotional energy into powerful energy you can use to move your relationship forward. Once the precious energy that was trapped as a painful experience becomes free, it can then be expressed as forgiveness, goodness, beauty and love.

My father used to think that the only way he could get my attention was to raise his voice. Increasing the decibels never helps. Yelling does not work. Shutting down does not work. Interrupting your partner does not work. Show respect! A large part of communication is listening. Be careful of the tone of voice you use. Softer tones are more effective.

If you can’t “communicate” without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library or restaurant, where you’d be embarrassed if anyone heard you yelling.

“Whispering piques our interest and demands our attention. Yelling, on the other hand, is a waste of time, regardless of how urgent the issue is.” ~ Seth Godin

Even though it may appear that you are from different planets because you share so little in your communication, it is possible for you to lay down your ray guns, seek peace and choose to travel in the same orbit, working together to celebrate your differences in ways that mutually benefit the relationship.

Always remember: “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!”

BONUS Article: Do You Have Audioapathy?

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Do You Have Audioapathy?

Empathic listening is a choice. Audioapathy is a word I coined to describe the condition often experienced when partners become apathetic about listening when their partner talks with them. It is a dreaded dis-ease that can poison your relationship. Although it appears that men are more affected than women, some women also get it.

not listeningHearing is involuntary. You can be sound asleep and still hear something or someone, but listening is voluntary. It is an intellectual and emotional choice. It implies effective communication between the sender and the receiver, which hearing does not.

It is a wise partner who, when their partner is talking, puts down the evening newspaper or turns the TV off, makes eye contact and truly listens to what their partner is saying. Very wise. Listen like you mean it. It may be difficult to listen to what they have to say, however, if the truth hurts – be grateful. When your partner talks, listen for the truth about what they are saying instead of going on the defensive. That only keeps you stuck.

It may take courage for your partner to express their feelings if they haven’t been used to doing so. To immediately defend your own position (or to disagree or argue) invalidates your partner’s feelings and usually serves to turn off future sharing possibilities. Listen for the opportunity to assist the relationship by taking responsibility for what you may be doing that trips their trigger and causes them to make a choice to feel the way they do.

How often do we just wait for our partner’s lips to stop moving so we can say something? Empathic listening gets inside your partner’s frame of reference. You see their world the way they see it, you understand their paradigm, you understand how they “feel.” Listening is one way to connect to others without trying to fix them.

Apathetic listeners breed contempt, resentment and often the person who desperately needs to be heard eventually shuts down. A lack of effective communication is the number one problem in relationships.

Try this. Listen to your partner without the burden of having to “do” anything other than give them room to talk. Listen more and talk less. You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. How do you spell success in a relationship? Be wise. Listen. L-I-S-T-E-N.

Your comments are always welcome!

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Author and Speakers BLOG” at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do You Have Audioapathy?

Filed under: Audioapathy,Listening,Relationships — Larry James @ 12:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

Empathic listening is a choice. Audioapathy is a word I coined to describe the condition often experienced when partners become apathetic about listening when their partner talks with them. It is a dreaded dis-ease (emphasis is on purpose) that can poison your relationship. Although it appears that men are more affected than women, some women also get it.

MaxineHearingAidHearing is involuntary. You can be sound asleep and still hear something or someone, but listening is voluntary. It is an intellectual and emotional choice. It implies effective communication between the sender and the receiver, which hearing does not.

It is a wise partner who, when their partner is talking, puts down the evening newspaper or turns the TV off, makes eye contact and truly listens to what their partner is saying. Very wise. Listen like you mean it. It may be difficult to listen to what they have to say, however, if the truth hurts – be grateful. When your partner talks, listen for the truth about what they are saying instead of going on the defensive. That only keeps you stuck.

listeningIt may take courage for your partner to express their feelings if they haven’t been used to doing so. To immediately defend your own position (or to disagree or argue) invalidates your partner’s feelings and usually serves to turn off future sharing possibilities. Listen for the opportunity to assist the relationship by taking responsibility for what you may be doing that trips their trigger and causes them to make a choice to feel the way they do.

How often do we just wait for our partner’s lips to stop moving so we can say something? Empathic listening gets inside your partner’s frame of reference. You see their world the way they see it, you understand their paradigm, you understand how they “feel.” Listening is one way to connect to others without trying to fix them.

Apathetic listeners breed contempt, resentment and often the person who desperately needs to be heard eventually shuts down. A lack of effective communication is the number one problem in relationships.

Try this. Listen to your partner without the burden of having to “do” anything other than give them room to talk and your full attention. Listen more and talk less. You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. How do you spell success in a relationship? Be wise. Listen. L-I-S-T-E-N.

Additional resource:

Read, “Communicating is Not Optional: How to Listen So Your Partner Will Talk” – A communication gap not only undermines the potential of your relationship; it can, and usually will eventually destroy the relationship. Use an effective process Larry James uses when coaching couples to teach them to listen and talk, but not at the same time.

Your comments are always welcome!

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors and Speakers BLOG” at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Audioapathy – What is it?

Filed under: Audioapathy,Relationships — Larry James @ 12:17 pm

Empathic listening is a choice. Audioapathy is a word I coined to describe the condition often experienced when partners become apathetic about listening when their partner talks with them. It is a dreaded dis-ease that can poison your relationship. Although it appears that men are more affected than women, some women also get it.

Hearing is involuntary. You can be sound asleep and still hear something or someone, but listening is voluntary. It is an intellectual and emotional choice. It implies effective communication between the sender and the receiver, which hearing does not.

It is a wise partner who, when their partner is talking, puts down the evening newspaper or turns the TV off, makes eye contact and truly listens to what their partner is saying. Very wise. It may be difficult to listen to what they have to say, however, if the truth hurts – be grateful. When your partner talks, listen for the truth about what they are saying instead of going on the defensive. That only keeps you stuck.

It may take courage for your partner to express their feelings if they haven’t been used to doing so. To immediately defend your own position (or to disagree or argue) invalidates your partner’s feelings and usually serves to turn off future sharing possibilities. Listen for the opportunity to assist the relationship by taking responsibility for what you may be doing that trips their trigger and causes them to make a choice to feel the way they do.

Empathic listening gets inside your partner’s frame of reference. You see their world the way they see it, you understand their paradigm, you understand how they “feel.”

Apathetic listeners breed contempt, resentment and often the person who desperately needs to be heard eventually shuts down. A lack of effective communication is the number one problem in relationships.

Listen more and talk less. You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. How do you spell success in a relationship? Be wise. Listen. L-I-S-T-E-N.

Additional resource:

Read, “Communicating is Not Optional: How to Listen So Your Partner Will Talk.” – A communication gap not only undermines the potential of your relationship; it can, and usually will eventually destroy the relationship. Use an effective process Larry James uses when coaching couples to teach them to listen and talk, but not at the same time. Go to: http://www.CelebrateLove.com/communicate.htm.

Copyright © 2007 – Larry James. Adapted from the book, “How to Really Love the One You’re With.” Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE.

NOTE: All articles listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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