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Do You Listen, Really Listen, To Your Partner?
The topic is, Do You Listen To Your Partner? What are the ramifications of that? It’s going to be fun.
We’re going to start off with a transparency story.
We practice, “You teach what you need to learn.”
We were going to the grocery store at New Seasons. For those of you that don’t live in this area, it’s like Whole Foods. We had gone and run some errands prior to that. I was pretty hungry. When we left Costco, he said, “Do you want to do something else?” I said, “No. I’m hungry. Let’s go do the shopping.” We went over to New Seasons.
That’s not exactly what you said.
That’s not what you heard.You teach what you need to learn. Click To Tweet
That’s the problem. That’s what we’re going to be talking about.
What I said and what he heard weren’t exactly the same. From where it is that I come from, I said, “I’m hungry. Let’s go shop.” He said, “Let’s eat here. You’re hungry.” I don’t even remember responding to that, but when we got in the store, he said something like, “Let’s go over and order our food.” I said, “I don’t want to eat here.” He was looking a little perplexed like, “What the heck? You said you were hungry.” I said, “I don’t want to eat here. I want to get our stuff and go home.” I’m clear in my head that we are going to get our food and we’re going to go home. His perception was very different. His perception, although unknown to me, was that we were going to eat at the store. He decided that we were eating there because I said I was hungry. When I said I didn’t want to eat there, he did not hear that.
What occurred is I was wandering around the store, doing my thing and buying my stuff. He got his own card and I got mine. After a while, he phones me in the store and says, “I’ve got your food.” They make guac there. I made my guac. He made his. We were waiting for it to cook. I went off to do shopping. He called me and he said, “I’ve got your food.” I said, “Super great. Thank you.” I kept on shopping, doing whatever it is that I needed and wanted to do. I’m not sure what happened to him because I was off in another part of the store. After a while, I called him. I said, “Where are you?” He said, “I’m in the dining room, eating.” I said, “Are you?”
I’d been waiting for you for the last fifteen minutes.
It’s because you thought I was coming there. I had no intention of going there. The point of the story is not just to show you that we are dealing with all the same things other people deal with. It’s also that we don’t hear what we think the other person says. We hear what it is that we want to hear or what we are attached to. First of all, please recognize that everybody has selective hearing. Selective hearing means that you make a decision about the way something is. It doesn’t matter what else somebody else may say because you’ve already tuned them out. You’ve already decided, “This is what is happening.” That’s why there is a very important distinction between listening and hearing. It’s important to recognize that you may listen to the words, but you’re not hearing what it is that they’re saying.
You might want to take a moment and think about that yourself. Think about the last time that somebody said something to you and the circumstances were not exactly the way you thought they were. In other words, there was a “miscommunication.” Remember that miscommunication comes because we may listen, but rarely do we hear. I can give you some remedies for that. Mr. Smiley Face wants to say something. He’s grimacing, tightening his lips. Those are body signs that somebody is going through something internally. That’s another clue about what happens.
Did you mention that I was doing the cycle of five to relax my body parts?
You didn’t tell me that. Cycle five is a breathing technique that I talk about many times on this podcast. You breathe in through your nose very slowly to the count of five. You hold the energy at the top of your head or between your eyebrows to the count of five. You exhale very slowly to the count of five through your mouth and through your nose, out through your mouth. When you do that five times, it’s amazing how miraculously you are able to see things differently. I have a feeling that maybe you needed to do the cycle of five, five times, not just five.
I did it ten times. Getting past that, suffice this conversation to say that what Esateys said is not what I heard. That was quite obvious. She said certain things that maybe she didn’t recall. It doesn’t matter. The point of what I wanted to say is I decided that I wanted to practice what we were going to be speaking to you. The topic of that show will be Would I Rather Be Right or Would I Rather Be Happy? Going through my reaction to this whole thing, we each had our own view. We each think we’re right. What difference does it make? I realized that this whole thing was there for me to decide how I want to be. I decided that I would rather be happy than right, even though I’m right.
It only took him twelve, fourteen hours to get there.
The first day, the ten were rough.
One of the things that we can gauge ourselves is how quickly we can move through our triggers. You might want to do that for a fun thing. When you get triggered, notice how long it takes you. Start to gauge your own personal mastery over when you can move from months, maybe years for people. It’s years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes, the quicker you can move through. Those triggers will be of paramount interest for you. If it takes you longer, then you’re hitting something deep and core.Miscommunication comes because we may listen, but rarely do we hear. Click To Tweet
The subject is listening to your partner. This is a come to reality statement for yourself and introspection, to be honest with yourself. Nobody’s watching. Nobody’s listening to you. I’d like you to contemplate when people speak to you. How present are you? Are you listening to their words and putting them in a place that makes sense to you or is definitive for you about what it is that their message is? Are you already jumping ahead with your perfect answer? You know the answer, so you don’t have to listen to anything they say. When you are interchanging with someone, what you do is what most everyone does. I’m not going to say an absolute, but I’ve been around a lot of people in my life. I see this characteristically. I have done this once or twice in my life. I know exactly what it is that I speak. What that means is somebody will be speaking and I will already have devised the most amazing response. I can respond in a way that will be so incredible. They may have shifted exactly what it is that they were speaking. I might’ve heard the first three, four, five words. I left the scene energetically, mentally and emotionally.
I left my body.
When the rest of the sentence or the message was given, nobody was home. Think about that. Have you ever been speaking to somebody? They’re telling you something. You hear the first part of their message. You take that. You run to the desert with that and make up your response. You determine what it means. You go back to the past. You assign it some additional meaning based on what it is that they probably said to you at some other time. Without even knowing that you’re doing this, it takes you back to some past experience where your mother said something that triggered you about that. You get into the story about, “If they feel that way, why are they even with me? My mother did that. My father never liked me either.” It’s amazing where we go. We’re off on our travels and the person says to you, “Okay?” like you were listening. Your eyes, even though they’re glazed over and they don’t see that, you are still there in the position where you were, sitting, standing, whatever.
You don’t want to appear to be as vacant as you were, you go, “Got it.” You’ll go your separate ways. The person who was communicating, because of what they said and what they felt that they knew was being said, thinks everything is the way it is that they think they said because the person didn’t say anything adverse to that. The other person who left town energetically or mentally and/or emotionally, they have had their whole thing to set up in their head about how things are rather than how things really are. Therefore, a big gap occurs. Communication is, in my experience, the number one issue in relationships. It’s challenging when you are with someone who does not have the awareness and the knowledge of how to acquiesce or how to look internally and see the way they are being. They instead get stuck on what it is that they are convinced positively that they said, didn’t say or whatever.
What do we do about it? The biggest part of the problem is awareness that we’re even in that leaving town place. We’re here but we’re not here.
Awareness is the number one key. The next question is, “How do I stay aware?” You stay aware when you’re communicating with somebody and you want to get what it is that they’re saying. You want to be able to experience where they’re at, to the degree that you can either have compassion or appropriate response. One of the things you do is you look into their eyes. You’re not looking away. You’re not looking down. You’re not looking at your phone. You’re not doing anything. You are physically there, looking in their eyes. Some of you are saying, “What if I’m on the phone?” One of the things you can do is FaceTime or something. If that’s not likely or happening, it’s a matter of being present in your body, which is another thing to do when you are communicating with someone, even in person. It means that you’re curling your toes. You are feeling your kneecaps. You’re aware of how your fingers are feeling. You’re aware of where your shoulders are positioned. Are they back? Are you hunched over? Are you in your body? It’s what the bottom line to that is. Even though you may have that flittering thought, you come back to hear the person speak.
Here is a number one important clue. This is so important. This is one of the things that we realized through our little adventure. What we needed and are committed to doing is we ask for feedback. Probably all heard that before, but it’s an important experience. When we were standing there in New Seasons, instead of saying, “Okay,” what would have been wise for me to do is to say, “What is it that you heard me say?” or, “How are the plans based on what it is that we’ve communicated here?” I’d get feedback from him. If I had done that, I would have readily found out that he thought we were eating there. At that point, I could have gotten clearer with myself and with him that my desire was to not stay. I’ve watched this occur with so many people. One of the things that we’re pretty good at is we’ll talk to each other about something that’s up. It might be a business issue. It might be whatever. We talk about it and we go off and do whatever we’re doing. We never came to a conclusion. We never came to a place that was result-oriented because maybe we weren’t exactly on the same page. Maybe we didn’t feel clear enough within ourselves about what we wanted. This unfinished business is a very important thing to recognize in many areas of your life. It’s happening, and it has to do with being present with your communication, with yourself and with others.
Like the example that I was giving, sometimes something will come up. We’re starting a new twelve-week online program some time. We’re also looking at doing another yearlong program. We have these things, all these different options, choices, decisions and things like that that we’re making. We talk about it a little bit. We don’t come to the meeting of the minds exactly. We’re not in conflict with each other. It’s just that we’re not positive that that’s what we want to do in that particular moment. What we do is we go south. We will work on another project. We go do this or we go do that. If we want it to be clean, it would be wise for us to bring completion. These are the words I want you to hear, “Come to completion with all your thoughts. Come to completion with everything you do.”
Completion means that you’re clear that you’re either not going to stay present to that or you are going to. You feedback to yourself, to the other person, to the group or to whomever it is that you’re interacting with. You make sure that everybody is on the same page. When we’ve got a Google Doc up, we look at this. When we look at this about this project and it’s not jelled exactly where we want it to be yet, what would be ideal for us is we say to each other, “I want to be clear here. We’re agreeing that we’re not clear about this. What’s the best time for us to come back together and complete that?”
I was thinking exactly the same thing. Pick a continuation date to continue it rather than to move forward. The problem that you’re discussing is that neither of us has clarity that we both can get on board with or we ourselves don’t know what we want to do. We’re dealing with five different ideas floating around for this particular project. What’s the best course? Sometimes it’s overwhelming. I don’t know what to do next. You look at me. You don’t know what to do next. What do we do? We go out for coffee.
At that moment, what’s powerful is I say, “I’m not clear yet to take the next step. How are you feeling about it?” You could say, “I’m not feeling clear about it either.” At that point, we can say, “What about Tuesday? Let’s look at the calendar and see if we can bring this back up on Tuesday at 10:00.” What’s underlying is a deeper level of this. There are many different layers to this. One is its conscious communication. It’s conscious listening. It’s hearing where the other person is. This is so important. The other thing that is very important is from an energetic level. Most of you know that work from an energetic level. It means that when you have a thought and you leave it undone, it’s like a fragment on your hard drive on your computer. Have you ever defragged your hard drive on your computer? If you haven’t, it would be a good idea to do that. You can go to Google it. When your computer has a whole lot of fragmented programs or incomplete processes, what happens is it slows down. It becomes cluttered. It becomes sluggish. It doesn’t work as efficiently.
Think about yourself, what’s in your head and all the unfinished business that you have going on, all of the dangling participles that are hanging there because you don’t know what to do or you didn’t get approval from somebody else. This messes up your head. It takes away from your clarity. It takes away from your pristine communication. It takes away from you being able to hear other people because you’re too busy trying to clean up all of those unfinished dangling participles. The bottom line is that you will find that when you do this, you are going to be so much happier. You’ll be so much clearer. You will be zippier and sharper in your mind. Part of a confused mind and part of what keeps us from not having a great memory as we would like, in addition to a whole bunch of other things, is that we have too many unfinished businesses going on in our heads. By businesses, I mean thoughts.When you have a thought and you leave it undone, it's like a fragment on the hard drive on your computer. Click To Tweet
If you look at it from an energetic standpoint, it’s fragmented. The body likes smoothness. The flow is most profound when we are clear about where we’re at, who we are, what we want and what’s next, and we have a plan. You don’t have to have the answer. You just have to have a willingness to say, “I don’t know the answer right now. I will have the answer the next time. If the next time that you put on, the calendar doesn’t work, I’ve gone through a lot of things in my head but I’m still ruminating over that, so let’s make it on Thursday instead of Tuesday.” You want to close up those gaps. You want to finish off. You want to put an end to the fragmentation. You want to put clarity inside your own head, which will allow you to be more structured on a high level.
We’re more focused.
When you are that, you will hear better. You will listen better. You will be able to respond way differently. Here’s the other thing. When we are overwhelmed with all this data and all this stuff that’s going on, we don’t take the time, because we don’t feel like we have the time. We’re too overloaded to sit and listen to somebody. How often do you sit down with no noise, no TV, no phones ringing, no children screaming, no music on and no nothing? You just sit there and speak to somebody. We are inundated with distractions over and over again. If you want to increase the depth of your relationships with yourself, your partner, your business and your children, you take away as many of the distractions as you possibly can. Look at each other in the eyes and have a conversation. The feedback is a critical piece. Feedback to the person what you think you heard them say. Let them verify whether that is true or not. If it is not, go back to the drawing board until you make sure that you’re both in agreement with what it is each other is saying. It does not mean you have to agree with them. Take a breath. I’m not saying you have to lie down and be a doormat or something. You can agree to disagree at that moment. At least there’s completion right there.
I have a couple of ground rules that might be applicable. The first and biggest one that I could think of is that when you’re having any conversation, there should be no phones in your hand, no beepers, no anything. There’s none of that stuff so that you’re completely present. If your phone rings and it’s across the room, you don’t go and pick it up. It will wait. You stay 100% present. In and of itself, given all the distractions you were talking about, it would be cool. The second thing is when you were speaking about all the different thoughts that we have, underlying each of those thoughts is an emotion. Each of those thoughts will be a trigger for some past program or whatever, which will create an emotion.
I did this during our conversation when it dawned on me. I said, “There was something in this conversation that made me afraid.” It’s being honest emotionally about where your emotions are while you’re having this conversation. It may be a business thing where there are no emotions or it’s a personal thing and there are emotions. The idea is to be as expressive and authentic, and keep going deeper to express where you’re at so the other person can get that. The last thing is that everything we’ve said goes quadruple for any of your business conversations. If you’re talking to your boss or to a coworker, most likely, you don’t have the degree of connection with them that you have with your partner. All of these things get amplified. The necessity of being on the same page and being in alignment is even greater.
If you’re in business, it’s impossible not to have emotion. It’s there. It may not be in your conscious awareness. The number one thing here is that you have to be aware. Awareness is the number one key to resolving your conflicts regardless of what they are, whether it’s in communication or whether it is in your money. It doesn’t matter. Communicating with yourself first is key. It’s important that you have a sense of what it is that you are feeling. When this little experience was occurring, there was a lot of, “You said.” When you ask yourself, “What’s this trigger about?” then you start to go a little bit deeper within yourself to where you can look at it.
One of the things that I acknowledge you for is because, after a while, you said, “I realized it brought up fear.” When that occurred, everything inside of me shifted because I didn’t have to feel defensive or put a wall up. I immediately experienced compassion. “He’s feeling uncomfortable about something.” The part of me that wanted to love him more because he was so authentic made a difference. Being that vulnerable isn’t always easy. We know that. We never ever let the fear stop us. If we let the fear stop us, we will not grow into the person or the people that we are and we’re capable of being. We don’t have the life that we want if we can’t be impeccable and authentic. Four of my favorite words are awareness, authenticity, empowerment, which creates transformation. It creates a life that transforms into the life that you’ve always wanted to live. It happens because you take these steps and you follow through, even when you’re not feeling like it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re afraid. Acknowledge it and move on. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in the mood. Your own self-discipline and your own decision-making process are what is going to increase your feeling of self-empowerment, of self-love. It heightens your own sense of value. Let’s say that from reading this, you decide, “I’m going to pay attention,” to whomever it may be, your mother, your father, your partner or your children, “I’m going to stop everything, look at them and listen.” If you make that agreement, you don’t run back to your old patterns just because you got triggered. Be who you are and not who your programs are. Your programs will make you run back to where it is that you were because you want some relief.
Be willing to face the discomfort and move on. Be willing to walk through that. That’s what creates your mastery. If you want to be amazing at communication, if you want to have a partnership with someone, primarily yourself or at least with yourself first, you have to be present. Listen, feedback and get the response of the other person or what experience is showing you. Communicate that back to make sure that everything is copacetic, everything is on the same page. What’ll happen is you will feel better internally. You won’t bolt back to old programming just because you’re uncomfortable for a few minutes.
That’s powerful because it’s so easy to jump back into our programmed, unconscious ways. Defending ourselves is one of the things that the ego likes to do. Nobody likes to be vulnerable or whatever. I have one more thought that I had and I want to share. You were talking about the conversation going, “He said this. She said that. We said this.” What did happen to me in the midst of this whole thing was, “What’s the point?” That’s an immediate red flag. It’s an immediate tip-off that we’re trying to justify that we’re right. It’s that, “Would you rather be right than happy?” That, in and of itself, “You did this. You didn’t do that. You went here,” is a tip-off. You were in that trigger. We’ll help you get to the awareness that we were speaking about.
When any of us are blaming anyone else, we know we’re in defense mode, which means that we’re afraid. We may be messed up, didn’t get it right or some self-denigrating thought. When we get to that place, we can be pretty defensive. We can be unkind to ourselves. When we’re unkind to ourselves because it feels so uncomfortable, we like to project it on someone else. We think we’re not feeling it, but we do anyway.
We are at the Ask Esateys stage of our program. We have a question. “I’ve been listening to your podcast since the beginning. I love the way you and Rafael communicate and augment each other,” I appreciate that. I know Esateys does. We’re trying as best we can. “What would you say are the biggest red flags to watch out for in my or any relationship? My partner has so many ups and downs.”We can't have the life that we want if we can't be impeccable and authentic. Click To Tweet
First of all, you are not a lone ranger. Every relationship has a million ups and downs. It’s not that you have them. It’s how you’re going to perceive them and how you’re going to ride the waves of your relationship. If you feel like you’re diving off the diving board and going splat, every up and down is going to be painful. If you get on the rollercoaster, you know a roller coaster goes up, goes down and goes around, but it’s a fairly smooth ride. Things are going to come up in a relationship. My favorite thing is that relationships are our very own self-development course. You’re with someone to help you see the parts of you, where you still have things that you’ve not made peace with within yourself. It looks like it’s over there. One of the things you do is start doing some deep inner personal work about the things that are triggering you.
When you see the things that are triggering you, look at that. Look at what’s underneath. What kind of fear is it that’s got you acting or feeling the way that you do? Sometimes people don’t tell the truth to each other because they are afraid. I’ve never seen a relationship where all of the truth was told all of the time. The bottom line to this is that the red flag is when you noticed that you’re pretending to be somebody that you aren’t, over and over again. It’s when you’re hiding things from your partner, when you are feeling ashamed about the way you are so you sneak around doing things, no matter what that might be it. I’m not necessarily speaking about cheating or any of that stuff, but things like being on your computer when you said you’re going to be doing something else. You can probably think of things. It’s about telling the truth.
Another thing is that when you are not taking the time to be with each other or make the time to be with each other, that’s a flag. That’s a signal that you two have deprioritized your relationship. Occasionally, there are times when that have to happen. Let’s say that, in your work, you have a big project. You’ve got to get that done over whatever period of time. If your general attitude or your general way of being together is to, for lack of a better term, be roommates, have a conversation about that. “Are we both okay with being roommates with each other? I noticed that we’re not doing things together so much. We’re not making the time to have conversations and sharing things that are deeper and have more power and substance to them.”
If you contrast that to the way you were when you first got into a relationship, how you always wanted to be together, how you were so connected, and now if you’re doing things separately, that is a major tell that things have shifted. If you care about the relationship, you examine and you talk to your partner so that you can remedy that.
The key piece of what it is that you said is that you talk to each other. I know lots of couples that pretty much live their own lives. They both work in different places. They do different things. They come together some of the time because that’s all they need or maybe all they want in a relationship. Not every person is designed for a 24/7 relationship. It comes back to knowing yourself and having the awareness of what makes you happy. The key to this is you have to know yourself. You have to communicate. You have to listen to what the other person is saying. Many people that I have coached have said, “I had no clue.” It happened at a meetup. “I had no clue he was like this or he would want that.” They didn’t communicate about the things that we don’t think about at that time. Having a lot of deep introspection with each other is helpful and important. Make sure your values are the same.
Look at your role in this, rather than saying, “He changed. He did this. He did that.” Take a look inside. You know that whatever’s going on in you is being mirrored back to you and whatever the issue is. You can take a look, take responsibility and become aware of what it is that’s happening inside. It’s a complicated subject.
I want to leave this little section with a suggestion. Go to our website, Esateys.com. On the front page there, there is a free giveaway that’s called the 8 Telltale Signs That Your Relationship is in Trouble. It’s a powerful, succinct way of some of the clues that’ll let you know if it’s in trouble or if something’s going on that’s not related, that seems like it’s about the relationship.
Know that no matter what you see there, awareness, communication and an intention to make it better will help. It’s not endless. It’s not hopeless. We’re now going to go to the part of the show, which is my favorite. That’s hearing the question of the day. These are very powerful. I always pay attention to these.
“What would it take for me to listen and hear my partner?” Remember that when you ask this question, you are asking it rhetorically. You’re not expecting an answer right then. Let’s say your partner is driving you nuts. You’re triggered. They’re saying things you don’t want to hear. You, therefore, are not hearing what it is that they’re saying. Remember that what they’re saying may not have anything to do with their words. It has to do with what’s underneath those words. That’s when you get to be perceptive and open up your level of compassion. “What would it take for me to listen and hear my partner?” Relax. See what occurs in the next several minutes, the next several hours and the next several days. In that moment, you might still be overloaded. The next time it comes up, watch how differently you may handle it.
Our next show is going to be about profound love without attachment. The one after that is, “Is it better to be right or happy?” We hope that you’ll be able to read those. Lastly, I recommend that you go to Esateys.com and find the 8 Telltale Signs eBook. It’s powerful. You’ll get a lot out of it. Esateys, are there any parting thoughts?
Remember to share this with your friends and maybe even with your partner. Put it on your Facebook page, your Instagram or wherever you spend most of your time. Know that we appreciate you. We are so grateful that you are in our lives. Until next time, feel a hug.
We will see you soon.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.