We’re a soccer family. It’s our sport and you’ll find our family on the sidelines cheering for our team and our player a number of times each week. I can admit that sometimes I get a little animated when the referee doesn’t make the right call or makes no call at all. What is more frustrating is seeing skilled players on the same team bumping into each other or backing away from the ball believing the other one has it!
When that happens you’ll inevitably hear the parents collectively shout “TALK!”
Shouting “Talk” is our sideline effort to remind our players that they have to communicate and not assume everyone knows what the others are thinking.
On the field and in life assumptions can result, not just in missed opportunities, but injury! We meet couples every day who are suffering and injuring their relationships because they don’t talk!
Some of you who are reading this post right now, want to shout back at us… I am talking he’s not listening!
She won’t let me get a word in edgewise!
We can’t talk without it turning into an argument and escalating into a fight!
We get it…
However, talk is just the short word for what we really mean. What we are really calling for is to learn to communicate, relate, understand and unite. In our work with couples we meet lots of spouses who talk a lot. Sadly, many of them are speaking in tones and words that dishonor, cause defensiveness, and create discord rather than unity in their relationships. Maybe that’s how it has been going for you?
If so, here are three game winning communication keys found in one simple verse from the bible. James 1:19 says… “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” Let’s break this play down into three simple elements.
Quick to listen – lean in, listen to what your spouse is saying. Sometimes you have to listen beyond the words they are using to find their true heart. Talking is just noise until someone is listening…so lean in and seek to understand.
Slow to speak – slow down and think about your choice of words. Think about your tone, your choice of words and your motivations. Slowing your word flow down will help keep you from saying things that will hurt your spouse or put them on the defensive. Just be sure that you don’t slow down so much that you aren’t speaking at all. If you need silence in order to process your thoughts – that’s ok. Just be sure to share about your need to process and let your spouse know that you aren’t completely withdrawn or shut down. Say something like, “I need some time to think about things… how about we talk more after the kids are in bed at 8:30.”
Slow to be come angry – anger is the duct-tape of the emotion world. We like to use it for everything. If we are sad – we get angry. If we are disappointed – we get angry. When we are embarrassed – we show anger. When we feel disrespected – we blow up with anger. Slow to become angry might result in not getting angry at all. Slowing down means that we are willing to look beneath our anger to identify the real feeling we are experiencing. Finding our true feeling is worth the effort because it keeps us from injuring our relationships through physical acts of violence and verbal assaults. Also, slow to become angry means we are willing to lay down our defensiveness and judgements. Defensiveness is the enemy of understanding and unity.
Practice makes perfect! Put the James 1:19 play into your relationship game today.
Click Here to try our couple to couple coaching experience! We can get your communication straightened out so that you can be certain you are playing on the same team, aiming for the same goals, and winning the game of life together.
You’re next BIG game is coming up soon – will it be another frustrating loss or will it be a celebrated win!?
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”
~ James 1:19 ~