Three Ways To Influence the Conversation With Your Partner Without Saying a Word – Marriage Counseling Tips | Dr. Marty (NJ Marriage Counselor)
You’ve heard it said that it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Here are three things you can be aware of and do (not say) that can really impact positively on your partner. When couples are talking to each other during our couples counseling, I stress how much tone, speed, and volume impact communication.
Tone – Tone reflects attitude.
During couples counseling I have folks listen to the tone of their voice.
Peoples tone during couples counseling will indicate to the partner a certain attitude. Tone sends a message, and that message can be accepting, or accusing and judgmental. When that attitude is picked up, the other person is likely to become defensive or withdraw. The job of the marriage counselor is to help folks become aware of the tone, and the impact it has on a discussion.
Often times what folks do during our marriage counseling sessions is an indication of what happens at home.
In our marriage counseling sessions, I ask couples to experiment with talking more slowly to each other.
Speed – It’s important to match your partner’s speed when you communicate with them. I’m not saying mimic them, but to be aware if you are talking too fast so the person doesn’t have a chance to absorb what you are saying, or conversely too slow, and your partner gets restless waiting for you to finish your thought.
How loudly one person talks to the other not only affects our couples counseling session, but by itself will impact on every discussion or argument a couple has.
Volume – I saved the most important for last. During couples counseling, I tell people that volume is very important, because loud voices will either result in louder responses, or total withdrawal on your partner’s part. Volume is also equated with anger. Many folks feel that if your talking loudly that you are arguing, and arguing only generates heat, not light.
You might have a checklist in your head, and listen to yourself when you are talking with your partner and evaluate yourself in terms of your tone, speed, volume and your constructive use of silence.
As a Marriage Counselor, I believe that marriage counseling is about helping couples become more aware of themselves so they can self correct.
During couples counseling, people learn that communications are about how a message is delivered. A good message with a poor delivery ends up being a bad message.
In my next blog, I will talk about one more very powerful nonverbal factor that I have seen as a marriage counselor – Silence.
To learn more about how to communicate well and strategies I use in Marriage Counseling, you might want to take a look at my book: Negotiation Handbook for Couples: From Conflict to Connection.
Send me a comment on this blog and I’ll take $10 off of my book
Dr. Marty, I appreciate the time you take to share your wisdom to married couples. This particular message speaks volumes about how we communicate with each other! My husband and I are enjoying the techniques you’ve presented in the Negotiation Handbook as well. It has been very helpful as we continue to grow.
This article was very insightful. I have realized that a lot of times in an argument either me or my husband are mentioning the others tone or way of saying things. Communication is a big issue in our relationship and every article on the subject that you send is always relevant. Haven’t used any of the techniques I have read about yet and I am hoping to have the discipline to follow these guidelines.
Thanks for the kind words. I would be very interested to hear how things work out.
The other day my husband and I were discussing an issue that has been ignored for a while now. Quickly the conversation became intense, loud, and heated. He gets inpatient and frustrated very easily and the issue is one that upsets him. It got to a point where we are yelling and I left to go for a drive. After driving for ten minutes I calmed down and remembered all the things that I have learned and read from your blogs. I decided to go back home and try to fix the situation. I kept in mind to stay calm and keep a low voice and to watch my tone. I kept reminding him of the same things and we talked for three hours after that. We resolved the issue and talked about other things as well. He appreciated me coming back and fixing the situation instead of leaving it at us being angry at eachother, I was proud of myself and him and grateful to you. I can’t afford counseling so I have become determined to Learn from your blogs and use the advice you give. Thank you and keep them coming 🙂 .
I am so glad that I was able to be of help. Thank you for your response. Your feedback really encourages me