Recently, my partner was talking to me about his day and I was distracted by the sound of an email notification on my phone. I didn't realize my gaze shifting to my phone, as I quickly tried to read the notification before it disappeared. When I looked up, I could tell that he was less than amused with the direction of my attention. This caused a discussion about the message I was conveying to him…. that I did not value what he was sharing and that my email was more important to me than him sharing his feelings about his day.
I apologized and felt bad for sending him the message that I was indifferent to his feelings and that I did not make him feel valued in that moment.
One of the most important roles of being a couples counselor is to help couples improve their communication with one another, and it is one of the more common struggles that bring couples to counseling. We often get distracted in our fast-paced world and can quickly fall into into bad habits or patterns of communication with our spouse or partner, but we often don’t realize how much non-verbal communication plays a role in our relationships. Research by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, ….. reveals that only 7% of our communication is through spoken words. This should awaken us to the reality that “what we are not saying” speaks volumes!
Have you ever been frustrated with your spouse and rolled your eyes or sighed? Most of us are guilty of negative non-verbal communication at some point in our relationships but we must be aware that “what we are not saying” can greatly relay contempt for our spouse through our posture, facial expressions, and tone. The tone of our voice can greatly impact how our message is received. If delivered with a sarcastic or demeaning tone, even the nicest of compliments can emotionally wound others and can create conflict. Coming to counseling can help couples and individuals explore underlying causes of unhealthy communication, bring about greater self-awareness regarding our own communication styles, and equip couples with the tools they need to better understand one another by promoting active listening and open lines of respectful communication. If you are struggling with communication issues in your marriage or other relationships, we are here to help.
Sanctuary Christian Counseling
9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4
Shippensburg, PA 17257