The “Answer” To Enhance Good Couple Communication! (You’ll Never Guess What It Is)

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to have a quality relationship is communication. In counseling sessions with spouses or between family members the lack of good communication is always a center piece of the issues discussed. For some couples I have asked them to get a simple audio recorder to record their conversations when the topic is controversial and/or subject to creating a hostile exchange. Below are three instances where the recorder can help keep the discussion civil and respectful.

  1. Stifle Escalation. Oftentimes there are topics to be discussed that generate strong feelings for one or both individuals. If the recorder is on a person is less likely to rage, curse, or put down the other person. Who wants to be embarrassed at playback time!?
  2. Revisionist History. I think I can safely say that every time a couple is discussing something that happened in the past there are two different recountings of that event. The he says, she says, accounts differ substantially. If there was a recorder present the exact verbiage would be available for clarification.
  3. Tone and innuendo. Oftentimes a person’s tone or innuendo can be very negative and insulting during a discussion/argument. The use of such a style can alter the feelings and direction of the communication.

I have asked individuals with a history of poor communication to turn on a recording device. Few actually do it, to my dismay, and, thus, ugly discussion is still enabled. Sometimes I wonder if people really want to communicate well or do they find a certain perverse delight in arguing with each other. You might say “why in the world would they want that?”

Intimacy is scary to many people. They want it but fear that vulnerable closeness will result in getting hurt. Thus, they find a way to keep a certain emotional distance from their partner. Mis-communication is a way to do that.

Also, communication is a power exchange. Each person wants/needs to be right. If some objectivity was brought into the communication exchange, via the recorder, an individual might find that his or her take on something was erroneous. Wrong never feels good!

Well, Respected Reader, what do you think? Might you want to have a recording device handy to use when a communication topic is of importance and/or may lead to strong negative feelings? What does your gut say? Probably not, you say. Well if you choose not to actually use one, how about this. Before you begin communication on such a potentially touchy subject, the two of you can say these words, “The recorder is on. Let’s respect each other as we strive to communicate on this subject.”  Sounds corny, doesn’t it. But it may help!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

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