How many times have you and a loved one felt like neither of you got what the other was saying? It is almost as though the two of you were having different discussions. It amazes me how differently two people can perceive a conversation, but the truth is that this is a natural thing and we all do it.
When you are having a conversation, there are three distinct dialogues going on at the same time: yours, the other person’s, and the one that is really occurring. We don't correctly hear what someone else is saying to us because we have our own listening filters that sometimes edit out what the other person is saying.
Perhaps we may have some strong emotions in play or may be busy thinking about our response. Other times we can be distracted by outside influences, like the television, or internal ones, like our previous histories, insecurities, or even how we are feeling physically.
All of these things combined can create the perfect conversational storm: a place where nobody feels heard and both parties end up floundering in a sea of misunderstanding.
If you'd like to still the waters and have calm communication, start by realizing that you may not be as clear as your partner needs you to be. Yes, I know that he or she has equal responsibility here, but someone has to get things started, so why not seize the opportunity and open up the topic