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Jeff Tannen

Jeff Tannen is a Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist. For over two decades he has treated all issues of mental disorder. He is known for workshops and groups in the Los Angeles area. Jeff has written on men's topics for several local magazines and has been a guest on local radio.

Let's Talk

Today I want to talk a little about good communication.
Yesterday I discussed that there is a literal style and an inferred style of listening. Essentially I said that a 'literal' person hears the literal essence of what is being said while the inferential style person hears the double message or what's between the lines;

Today I want to talk about sitting down with someone to have an intimate conversation. When I say sit down I mean across from them so that you may look at each other eye to eye. The first rule is good eye contact. This means that if one person is in one room and another person in the other room all that really happens is a lot of shouting.

The next important factor is keeping 'you' this and 'you' that out of the conversation. There is nothing more off putting and defense building then starting a statement with you this or that. We all hear this all the time and it's not right for anyone to do, really. Instead, start a sentence with ' I feel this' or 'I feel that. It forces you to talk about what you are really feeling at that moment and not what you want to say to blame or be sarcastic or angry.

Intimacy is a word that conveys having boundaries that are healthy with the one you love. The word intimacy can be read as 'into me' see'? This really says it all. It is about letting another person in and not building walls.

Examples of building walls are using sarcasm, being childish, having to win, being bossy, complaining etc. These are simply ways of shutting out the person you most want to come in.

Put your views aside. Don't give advice unless it's asked for. Stay away from giving opinions unless they are wanted.
Be authentic. State your feelings, thoughts and perceptions. This is not about winning or losing arguments and if you feel it is, then wait for these feelings to pass until you feel more rational, less angry to have a talk that will get somewhere,

Listen first and talk later. This means hear what your partner has to say so and draw him or her out until you really even know what it is that this conversation is about. It is easy to go off on assumptions, so don't make any assumptions. Never take anything for granted.

Make statements that let your partner know you are being heard such as. 'I hear what you are saying ' or are you saying that ----?'
Lastly, be compassionate and empathetic; how do you want the other person to feel. Do you want your partner to feel cared about and listened to? Try some of these tips and see if things improve in your discussions. Again, discussions are not about someone has to win and the other person is going to lose. If you feel that way then examine where that is coming from? Are you carrying around a feeling of anger, being taken for granted, or that your partner has assumed too much about you that isn't really true?

Happy talks!

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