Man & Woman

The 8th Wonder of the World: The confusion reigning supreme when a man & a woman try to communicate about something which scares both of them.

It is somewhat of a phenomenon how ideas, words and thoughts can become distorted.

When two people who are equally passionate and reactionary are trying to talk about something intense, things can become so skewed. I’ve been wondering: Is it better to just shut up or keep talking?

After some reflection, I think I now understood how, within a split second things can start to snowball and land in a pile of insanity. I believe it’s based solely on the non-verbal worries / fears people may bring to a conversation; worries and fears they do not share with the other, but ones which seep through their minds while the other one speaks. Usually, these worries and fears are based on monologues each individual has in their own head. Alone. Without their partner / girlfriend / boyfriend / whatever.

Much of the time, and rather than paying attention to one another, couples argue about the things which weren’t said. What they’re reacting to isn’t the conversation itself, but what they’ve already thought about / expected / have been worried about.

To answer the question I posed at the outset, I’ve come to learn that the way to ease the communication between two such people is to follow these steps (I recommend you print this up, laminate it and keep it in your wallet at all times):
.1. In the heat of the moment, it really is best to just shut up.
.2. Take some time to reflect and breathe.
.3. If there’s a real connection between the two of you, you should be able to honestly and sincerely consider: (a) the other person’s feelings; (b) attempt to understand the ‘why’ of their reaction; and (c) hear their not-articulated worries and fears.
.4. When you’re calm, come together to talk.
.5. When speaking to him / her, make certain you reiterate their fears. Let them know you heard them. Make them understand that you understand.

I’m an optimist and so believe in the power of connection when that connection is genuine and real; when you can step back and without words understand the thoughts and fear, trepidation and worry of your partner.

Unfortunately, it’s that sort of connection which is a hell of a lot more scary for the two people involved (compared to a shallow connection when you look at the person in front of you and can’t see them in your life post the weekend). Should it work out, they’re in for an incredible ride; one which most others would envy, as few couples ever get such a chance.