I was especially bothered when it concerned vital matters like our families and our finances. He would only nod and say 'uh-huh'. Then I took action. I would give demonstrations of what I was trying to communicate, much like a sales presentation he might attend at his office. That got his attention; he could relate to a sales pitch. I would draw graphs and charts of our problems and the likely consequences. Then I would act the problems out in a skit if necessary. Sometimes I would be melodramatic and we'd both start laughing. These mini-dramas entertained him and got to his heartstrings. They were more real to him than my yelling words at him. And I feel like I got through to him; I accomplished something.
Now Jake responds to what I say with comments that let me know he at least heard me." Communication is not avoidance. You may have heard a popular joke that goes something like this: A bored young man is complaining to a buddy about his girlfriend and he dryly comments, "She says I don't listen to her, or something like that; I really wasn't paying much attention." These words are worth a 1,000 pictures. We could pick this scenario apart for days. This young couple isn't communicating. Maybe they are afraid to become closer, or maybe they don't know how. It sounds like one partner is avoiding the other. This couple may critically need counseling. If the underlying problem doesn't eventually surface, the relationship will take a nose-dive and submerge. Then, sadly, this couple might never know what they missed, especially if they have many good things going for them.
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How to change your perception of communication. What we really want to know is, "Am I getting across the way I intend?" We all grew up in families that communicated in certain ways, whether effectively or not. We are comfortable with the communication patterns we learned at home. We often don't think about growing beyond that point, yet it may be vital in a relationship. In your career life, you have to keep up with modern technology to stay afloat, much less get ahead.
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Our relationships should be just as important. Don't be afraid to learn how the other person communicates. How did your partner's family relate to each other, and can you glean something from their communication patters that you can add to your own "communications repertoire"? We often think we have communicated simply by conveying our message, or by falsely presuming the other person knows what we want and how to give it to us. We may not stop to measure our communication effectiveness when a relationship reaches a stalemate.