This is my first article in improving our communications!
How do you respond to this question? To me it is so good to be able for my brain to go to a place of having to think about this. It is an honoring thing to do. So often, when I have something to say, I have been thinking about it awhile and boom as soon as I see someone, I download all my thoughts onto them. They on the other hand have not been thinking about this and have had their other thoughts on their brain. So it takes awhile for them to shift into what I am saying and go there.
After learning this and trying to apply, I will ask my husband when he comes in the door, “Is this a good time to talk about my amazingly, transformational ideas?” or just what happened in my day or what the repairman had to say about the oven? Each of these might have a different response but my asking allows him to think about it. Usually the response will be, “Let me change me clothes, or eat dinner.” or even “Let’s talk in the morning, I have had a rough afternoon.” Even if the answer is “Yes, this is a good time” He still has had a chance to get his brain into listening mode and prepared to hear what I have to say.
With my son, I usually text and ask for an appointment. “When can we talk about the lawn?” This usually works better than just barging into his life proclaiming that the yard is a jungle and I fear for the life of the dog. He can be prepared and is more open to making the change I am requesting. Especially on the phone, asking this question is amazing. We never know what is going on on the other side of the line.
As a receiver I have to allow myself this space too. When someone begins a conversation, I can ask myself, “Is this a good time for me to listen to this?” Sometimes just that honoring thought allows the space for me to attentively listen and other times, I have to say, “This sounds really important, can we set a time for me to listen?”
Have you ever been asked a question out of the blue and you feel compelled to give a quick answer? This frequently freaks me out and makes me panic to respond. I love allowing myself to say, “Let me think about that and get back to you?” (I usually add to call or email me if I haven’t gotten back in a reasonable amount of time, because if I have multiple thoughts running through my brain at that moment I just might forget.)
To sum it up:
Ask for time to speak. This shows respect and care for others as well as yourself. It can make a world of difference in how you are received.
Try it and let me know what you experience.