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Seven-Step Technique to Not Interrupt Your Fiancé

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In my last blog post I promised to give you a technique to help you and your partner not to interrupt each other while communicating. The example I use here is during the communication of an important matter that needs to be discussed not normal everyday conversations. When the agreement below is followed in discussions of important matters, then a habit will be formed to listen to each other with presence and focus. Here it is:

1Before he or she starts talking, affirm the following points:

  • I’m going to listen to every word you say. So express yourself freely.
  • I’m not going to interrupt you even if I feel the urge to do so.
  • I’m going to wait until you are done talking.
  • I’m not going to assume that you are done, but I will wait until you tell me you’re done.
  • After you’re done, I’ll express myself regarding this matter.
  • How do you feel about that agreement?
  • 100% of the time couples reach full acceptance of those points; unless on of the is in a defiant state, which is another topic of a blog post on how to deal with a partner that’s angry and defiant.

2Listen. Listen. Listen. Listening is a learned behavior. If you are present and you focus on every word that’s coming out of your fiancé’s mouth, you will be able to, not only listen with your ears but also, listen with your heart. You will be able to ask in depth and compassionate questions, once he or she are done talking, to clarify the matter instead of jumping to unsubstantiated conclusion.

3When your fiancé is done talking, ask your questions, clarify some points, and make sure you have all the facts before stating your view about the matter.

4Ask your fiancé to abide by the agreement stated at the beginning of the conversation as you did and not to interrupt until you are done talking.

5It’s your turn to express your point-of-view regarding the mater.

6When you have expressed yourself fully, it’s your fiancé’s turn to clarify, ask questions, and get your full view.

7Reach a satisfying conclusion.

By this time, most couples reach an understanding of the matter or issue and are ready to cooperate in any way needed.

Comments (6)

Great reminder! Listening, for me, without jumping in is the hardest part.
    Bre, listening is a learned behavior. It does take some time to practice. The urge to jump in is very tempting, especially if we hear something we don't agree with, or to express what we know about the issue as well. One way that I tried and worked like magic, was to imagine that my lips are stuck together! Lots of closed mouth expressions exposed my itch to talk, which sometimes made it humorous and actually helped us not argue..
Great post on how better to listen and communicate! When my hubby and I were in marriage counseling one of the things they had us do were reflective listening exercises. Each person had a set # of minutes to talk and the other person wasn't allowed to interrupt. Just make eye contact and listen. When the time was up, the other person needed to reflect back what he/she heard their partner say and it moved on from there. It's impossible, really, to have an argument if you're truly doing reflective listening. The hard part is to stick with it for the long haul - it definitely made communications easier and more meaningful.
    Evelyn, thank you so much for your comment. Reflective listening ties in with the Seven-Steps here, and asking questions to clarify is an important step after reflecting on the words that were said. As you mentioned, it makes communication easier and more meaningful. Thank for sharing your story, and the experience you had with this technique.
Common courtesy if often lost these days. LIstening is a lost art, it seems. Communication is key. More of us need to value others enough to listen.
    Val, you've said it precisely! Valuing others and respecting who they are and what their environment dictated on them, will give us the passion to listen and to understand them more. Thank you for your comment.

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