What I find in working with couples is that my world view strongly  impacts how I communicate with my partner.

If in my world view, people don’t listen to me, then I’m not going to feel that I’m heard. If in my world view, I express myself openly & vociferously, and my partner doesn’t, then I might not see that my partner actually IS listening to me, that she IS hearing me, because she doesn’t respond to me in the way that I know that she understands me–in this case, openly and vociferously. If in my world view, people aren’t there to help me, then I genuinely may not see that my partner is there helping me. If in my world view, I hold that I’m small, constructive feedback from my partner (or anybody for that matter), would sound like damning judgment on me.

My world view colors how I look at life and affects all of my relationships and how I communicate to people in my relationships.

Where do I get my “world view?” From my childhood of course. I can say that my childhood is my childhood and that’s in the past, but the psychological truth is, that from 0-10 years old, I’m forming my world views. And they’re based on what I’m seeing mom and dad do. What the primary people who take care of me during this time show me, I learn, and they’re showing me a lot. They’re showing me how to communicate. They’re showing me how they argue, how they resolve issues, and as I see all of this from my childhood eyes, I’m learning what you’re teaching me. I’m taking it all in, even though I don’t have the adult mind to gain context, nuance, and history of what’s really happening. And from there, I’m creating my world view. If I “attach” or “relate” to one or the other of my parents/care givers more strongly, then look right there for how I see the world. I see couples who deeply love each other, and due to their world views, they’re not seeing each other’s loving. And that’s painful, deeply, deeply painful. So, so often what’s necessary is for each partner to genuinely understand the background and context of what their partner is saying. Some of the things that I look for in helping couples communicate better with each other are:

Whats and Hows

  • What’s being said vs. How something is being said. What is being said is meant to be the message, but my partner hears how I’m saying it. I’ve found that how I say something can be a whole other message in itself.  The message is the words, but the Meta message, is how I’m saying those words. If I care how something is said, then what’s being said doesn’t matter so much. What you’re saying may be really, really important, but how you’re saying that to me may be blocking me from hearing you. You may be RIGHT in what you’re saying, but you may also end up very well alone because you’re not looking at the how you’re saying it…and I am.

When and Wheres

  • Sometimes I’ll bring up an issue when there’s just no time to talk about it, like right before bed. Sometimes I’ll bring up the issue in the most inappropriate place, or in front of someone that I really shouldn’t be bringing this up in front of. When I don’t give myself–or my partner–time to share and to fully have a discussion on something, it could be a sign that my world view is one wherein I don’t believe people have time for me or to hear my message. I bring up issues at THE most inopportune time, when my partner genuinely doesn’t have time to fully process what I have to say. Do I do this consciously? No way. It’s a unconscious “reinforcement” that my partner (or anybody for that matter) won’t take the time to listen to me. What may be happening is that I’m not really giving myself time to hear my own message.

Logical and Emotional

  • Sometimes I’m saying what I think is a fact (like the sun rising in the East). But, that fact for my partner,  my fact has a whole lot of emotional meaning behind it that I just don’t know about, and I’m unknowingly just trouncing all over their feelings. And sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes I’ll have a boat load of emotional meaning behind something that I’m saying, but I haven’t shared that there’s a whole lot of meaning behind it, and I’ll expect that what I’m saying will hold the same meaning for you as it does for me…except…I have no clue that it doesn’t.

Passive and Intimidating

  • Sometimes when I don’t really like something, I just might avoid it. I might avoid answering my partner’s questions all together…this way, s/he’ll know…. This form of passive communication is assuming and can be toxic. Here my world view quiet possibly is that I’ll get hurt, maybe physically, if I express my truth. Another possibility is that I don’t want to hurt you, but what I don’t know is that may be showing my world view that I think I control how you feel. And then, what that can show is a world view in which authentic expression wasn’t really allowed or permitted. In that case, I express myself passively.
  • Sometimes I’m not feeling heard, so I get a little louder, that way, you can hear me better. Sometimes, when you’re really not hearing me, I’ll get physically closer to you, so you can hear me better…. This form of communication is intimidating and threatening. This is a way to start destroying a relationship. Here my world view may be that the other person  doesn’t care about what I’m saying, so I’ll demand it. And, this may also show a world view wherein no one has ever taken the time to genuinely be there for me, listen to me, hear me. From that lens, I don’t know how to communicate your way.

Equanimity and Interdependence

  • My world view is that we’re equals. I talk, you talk, you talk, I talk and that everything is more balanced among us. I’m assuming you’re just as capable and committed as I am, and I’m just as capable and committed as you are. But my partner may hold the world view that we’re interdependent. You’re strong in this area. I’m strong in that area. You depend on me in that area, and I depend on you in this area. While it goes unquestioned in my mind that we’re all interdependent upon each other, in my relationship, this can illustrate a world view of power or imbalance of power and my fear of either not having it or taking control of it. In other words, what happens when the roles change and suddenly you’re stronger in that area and I’m stronger in this area?

I Do Couples Therapy.

It’s a strength of mine to see the dynamics between to people, and see the underlying energy & messages that are present. I use and give you simple, solid, tools to help you increase your communication with your partner, and learn more about yourself in the process. It is a privilege and I can help.

I’m Jim!
Call Me @ 424 235 0614
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