Listen to Understand

the-biggest-communication-problem-is-we-do-not-listen-to-understand-we-listen-to-reply
Seems simple, huh?

Some times therapy gets boiled down to simple tasks. I was reminded of this while taking voice lessons. My instructor continually pushes me to “stand up straight… but not too straight.” At first this felt so frustrating. Number 1; I felt often that I was standing up straight. Number 2; I understand it is important but sheesh, how much time can one really spend practicing something that should come naturally.

In therapy, this shows up as discussing simple communication. It is a vital part of our existence as human beings and since we learn from a young age it feels as though it should just function automatically. People, places, and experiences begin shaping our communication at the same time that we are learning. No one learns perfect communication and then can just go back to that perfect pattern. Instead, just like posture, we learn ways of being that get us by. They function to protect or to serve us in ways we may not have even thought about. Therefore, letting go of that old posture or communication pattern (or habit) can feel uncomfortable…. just like me singing standing up straight but  not too straight.

Try giving yourself of others permission to fumble through new ways of being. Some of our most basic habits, postures, thoughts, topics, or self-talk, can seem so small but difficult to change.