We often hear about walking in another person’s shoes, but what does that mean in practice? I think it means set aside our fears — what we are afraid of losing — calming down, closing our mouth, and taking the time to listen CAREFULLY. Even though we have two ears we can’t close and a mouth we can close, listening is remarkably difficult. I suppose I will never be a master listener, but before I die I hope to be a decent apprentice — if only I don’t go deaf first.
Something that’s been really useful to me in marriage is speaking to the heart, rather than the words or the person. Another way of saying this is “divining intent.” Never mind the actual words, behavior, rationale, what is the heart’s intent here?
That is an extremely challenging form of communication, one I still struggle with after decades of practice. My hubby can be very bossy, dominating, quick on his feet when he wants to be. Believe it or not, I am actually right behind him, perhaps not quite as overwhelming, but pretty close when I have something to say. We can quite easily talk over one another, butt heads. It’s somewhat funny, hubby can soften his tone a bit, he’s a gentlemen sometimes, he understands you can’t just mow over women even when you think you’re right, but me, I’m usually just prepared to go in for the kill.
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