Monday, July 22, 2013

real feel take two...conversations

the whole 'real feel' thing with the weather got me thinking.

to be honest, it drives me nuts.
it's hot, leave me alone.
don't tell me it's gonna feel like 200 degrees today.
don't tell me when it's cold that i'm gonna feel even colder.
just don't do it.
but then i got to thinking about it and playing with it....
what if we used 'real feel' all thru life?!
i mean....it IS incredibly descriptive.
i've been having some fun with it on facebook and decided to bring it over
to a blog series i hope to keep slipping in here now and again....called....what else???
'real feel'


you are looking forward to the conversations ahead, you want to share,
listen and connect. by the time the conversations have finished you know you'll
feel close and connected and more of who you want to be.

real feel??? ------  glad that's over with. what's there to eat?!

ahhh, the art of communication...how often does it leave us empty,
looking for something else to fill us? how often do we really look at it
and try to figure out how to make it better?
i'm pretty darn sure not enough.
i know i need to look at it a ton more than i do.

in talking with my partner about communicating, we took a conversation
we had shared earlier that day and asked each other what we each got out of it,
what we had meant to convey, what we felt as it was taking place.

guess what?
neither of us had a clue as to what was going on with the other person.

'you're kidding?'
'oh.'
'really?'
'um, i missed that.'

there are volumes that can be written about the things we saw as we took it all
apart, but one of the things that stood out the most for me was the idea of
'making space' for the conversation to bring us to the things that really mattered.

we ended up getting bogged down in details that stifled us, and limited the directions
and depths we could have gone in, and actually kept us from really seeing each other.

so we began to talk about 'making space.'

as we talked, i realized that i actually learned a ton of making space techniques from
my very practical, straightforward father. 

he didn't like small talk. thought it was a waste of time. and so if you talked about
something, that's what he wanted to talk about. that something. he didn't want to hear
roundabout stories about it, he didn't want to hear tangents that kinda related to it,
he wanted to talk about whatever 'it' was.

and so he'd guide the person he was speaking to back to 'it.'
over and over again.
and he'd work on bringing the root of 'it' out in the light so what was being talked
about could really be looked at.

so....if i'm talking to a girlfriend and she's having trouble with her partner. she may
say 'he drives me crazy, i absolutely hate it when he brings his tools in the kitchen and
leaves them all over the table. it's getting so bad, i just want to leave him sometimes.'

learning to identify the 'it' is the first thing to be done.
so we sit and i might say 'so is it that you don't feel like he respects you when he does this?'
and if that isn't quite it, we'd guess around til we found it.

and she might answer 'yeah, i hate it when he does that. you shoulda seen what he did
saturday.....' and off she'll go on saturday's story. and so the idea would be to bring it
back to 'okay, so again, it really seems to be the lack of respect you feel.' and we'd try
to start looking at that and concentrating on that part of the deal.

we're human.
and we're emotional.
so we're gonna get sidetracked into all the stories and tangents.
but they end up being space eaters.
they limit us, stifle us, and bring us nowhere.

it's the bigger picture....when you can start to look at that....take the lack of respect
in that example, you can start to see what that means to you. you can start to look
at why that feels bad, where that comes from, why you react like you do and how you
can change your reactions. how you can begin to be aware and work with it and start
talking about it with your partner. it opens up a ton of space.

opening spaces can create places to find out what's really going on with someone.
i may come to you with a story about one of my sons. i may be worried, or annoyed,
or amused or whatever it is i bring in the story. you can get bogged down in the details
with me. i can tell you details, and you can ask more details and we'll end up with a
detailed story that keeps us at a certain level. or you can ask me 'do you feel
like you're feeling these feelings stronger because your son is moving out? does this touch
on the mothering stuff you've been struggling with lately?'

and bam.......you've just made space for me to search and explore with you.

sometimes it's completely appropriate to go into all the details and keep things at a certain
level. of course it is. but if you want to make the conversation a place where real sharing
can take place, where you can feel full from what's taken place,
then i'm thinking this making space stuff matters.

it's a subject that took hold of me this weekend.
and i'm having a sneaky thought that maybe this just isn't for conversations,
maybe somehow it's for living.

i haven't quite sat with it all long enough yet.
but i figured i'd share the start...


4 comments:

Debra Estep said...

Terri,

Your blog today reminded me of this favorite quote ....

"It has been said that it's the space between the bars that holds the tiger. And it's the silence between the notes that makes the music. It is out of the silence, or "the gap," or that space between our thoughts, that everything is created-including our own bliss." - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I found something critical several years ago when it came to communication with a person.
I was working at a company doing electronic assembly. Not an assembly line, but about 5 individuals working at our own work stations and dropping electronic components in printed circuit boards.

At times we would be having conversations and I would not really be HEARING what the person was saying. I was just TOO busy in my OWN head thinking what my response was going to be !!!

After 1 such encounters, I walked back to my work station. I made myself a sign and attached it to my work bench...
The sign read.... LISTEN

WOW, I found when I REALLY paid attention and LISTENED, it made such a world of difference in my communication.

LOVE YA

terri st. cloud said...

nice, debra! thank you! love the listen sign you made! :)

Diane in AR said...

Love this conversation/blog. . .and though I know it's not about me (smiling) I can totally relate to the 'get to the point with no small talk' - married to that. . .he calls anything he doesn't want to know/hear 'garbage talk' - which is really sad because when our kids were growing up, he'd call their small talk that. . .told him if they trust you with the small talk and you listen, then they will later trust you with the deeper talk. . .Listen, listen, listen and learn, right? Thanks Ter

terri st. cloud said...

yeah! there's definitely a line to walk there with the small talk, isn't there?! :)