Thursday, 13 November 2008

Marriage Preparation Course 2

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We actually attended this session last week but it seems to have taken me this long to find a moment to write about it.

This session was called The Art of Communication and, surprise surprise, covered the topics of communication, or talking and listening. Sounds obvious but a lot of people are good at talking and not so good at actually listening to what the other party in the conversation has to say in return. As the presenters showed, for some other people's chat is something to be endured before it is their turn to start speaking again.

So, useful tips inside a marriage or relationship but also useful thoughts to carry into everyday life. We discussed a number of issues surrounding communication but the most useful one, in my opinion, was the plenary when we looked at 'bad habits' such as jumping in and reassuring, giving advice, intellectualising, going off at a tangent, interrupting and so on and realising which ones we are guilty of and then taking steps to work out communication habits which prevent us from using these habits.

I won't go into what M and I discussed and agreed but what I will say is this: next time you are having a conversation, be it with your husband, fiance, boyfriend, friend, Mum or well, whoever, really listen to what they have to say. You might think you want to help them or tell them what to do, or interrupt with something you want to say or just to steer the conversation to a safer or more interesting topic. But try, for once, to really listen and you might be surprised at the result.

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