- The importance of being thankful
- Focusing on what we’re thankful for
- Good listening requires paying attention to words, tone, and body language
- Asking clarifying questions
- Importance of validation in communication
The following is a full transcript of a Facebook Live, where Susie is speaking extemporaneously – she is unscripted and unedited.
Hi friends. Susie Miller here. Good to see you today. And today it’s, let’s talk about relationship or communication tip number three. It is Thursday. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to literally make it a point to look at what day of the week it is. Cause everything seems to be blending together. Is that happening for you too? I don’t know. So, thankful Thursday. Let me start with thankful Thursday. There’ll be a post here later for thankful Thursday and in the midst of all that we’re going through in the midst of all the struggles I have really tried to stay thankful every day for something that has happened. That’s good. And that’s really hard when there’s so much. Hey Steph, when there’s so much that is going on, that is tough. We can see so much that we can’t do so many things that are difficult.
And I think in the midst of this, it’s really important to be thankful. So pop in the comments, something you’re thankful for today. And then we’ll start talking about communication. Tip number three. Today I was whining about John cause it’s a beautiful day. Hey Steph, thanks for being in here for just a second. And I’ll text you in a little bit. I was sorry, these Facebook lives were so fun. I’m not sure whether to talk to people and engage with people or just tell you what I came to tell you and help you and give you tips. And so we’re figuring all this out. Who’s figuring it out as we go along. One of the things that I’ve learned is you show up sometimes with your kiddos, you just show up with your spouse. You show up with you all I show up and I’m learning as I go.
So thank you for all your patients in this time. But I was lamenting to John about not being able to go outside cause the allergies are really bad. And I talked to my doctor yesterday and she said, Nope, stay inside. Because the chance of getting an infection from allergies is really high for me. And I’m already in the high-risk category. So we’re not only living in a mobile home or RV or tiny house, so we can be outside and see the beautiful country. Even if we’re walking at a distance of six feet from everybody, I can’t even be outside now. And I started to be really whiny this morning or looked at John and was like, I just can’t believe it. Cause a beautiful day here. And I stopped myself, literally went like this. Okay, stop. I can focus on that or I can focus on something I’m thankful for.
And I pause and what I’m thankful that I’m not sheltering alone. I’ve got John, even if it’s small, it’s clean. It’s neat. It’s, it’s pretty where we live here in our tiny house and that’s what I’m going to focus on. So for you thankful for today, what do you thankful for today? That’s something I’d love to know. All right. Let’s dive into communication. Tip number three. Yesterday we talked about pausing and paying attention. You’ve got to pause and pay attention to what’s happening and what by that. I mean normally when we’re listening to somebody we tend to be thinking about what we want to say in response. And if we pause our thoughts and we pay attention to their words, their tone, their body language, we’re going to get a much better idea of what they’re actually trying to communicate. Cause a lot of our communication is nonverbal.
The second thing I talked about was to ask clarifying questions, help me understand that, you know, can you tell me more, those kinds of questions, allow somebody to give us more information about what they’re trying to communicate. And that’s really important because the goal of communication is connection and understanding. And when we can ask clarifying questions, then we can actually understand what the other person is sharing and trying to communicate the third tip, tip number three for better communication. I’m going to give you today is one of my go-to hands-down winner-winner, chicken dinner tips. And it is validating after you ask clarifying questions after you pause and pay attention, you’re going to shock the bejesus out of the people that love you or that you love by saying, huh? I can see why you would feel that way. And this is so important in times when people come to you with something hard when people come and they want to tell you something that’s tough that you’ve heard their feelings they’re stressed, you’ve bothered them.
You know, and especially right now, our tensions are so high. It’s really easy for us to go get defensive. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got these, you know, defensive lawyers like right-left hook, ready to go at any point in time. And so being defensive never is a way to have better communication. Never ever. And yes, I use the never word being defensive will shut down the communication conversation faster than anything. So you want to learn to validate and it’s hard to do because we resist it because we think if we validate, we’re agreeing, if we validate, we’re saying we’re responsible and I’m not saying that at all, validating is as simple as this, I can understand how you would feel that way. I can understand what why that would bother you. Okay. There’s not a, Oh my gosh, I did that on purpose.
Oh, you’re right. I’m a jerk. It really is this sense of validating. And that can work in tough situations and that can work in even a little easier situations. You know, if your kid comes in and they say you know, I don’t have any friends at school. I remember our son came in one day and said this and you know, he was a popular kid. I don’t have any friends. And as a mom, I didn’t want him hurting. And so I said, Oh yes, you do. Boom, done, shut down the conversation. All I did was invalidate what he was thinking and feeling. What I could have said was, huh, tell me why you feel that way. And then he could go on and tell me the stories, ask the clarifying question and then, huh. Given how much you’ve told me, given that information, I can see how you would feel that way.
So let’s use it in the Corona crisis. We’re in because that’s really where we’re all living. The validating could be something like this. I had a couple I worked with yesterday and the wife was a little bit more worried or less worried about being careful with all of the germs as the husband, the husband was, was just a little bit more worried. And he, his comment was, I don’t feel like you’re taking me seriously. And that was his feeling. I don’t feel like you’re taking this seriously enough and you’re not taking me seriously enough. And so basically a way to validate that would be, I can understand how my not washing my hands as often as you would, or my not wearing a mask or, you know, my not pausing and really listening to what you’re saying about this. These concerns for you could make you feel that way.
So can you see how validating could make a difference to your conversation? If you see that pop it, you know, thumbs up in the comments below, because here’s the thing, folks, what we want with connection with communication is connect or in our relationship for connection to be seen, known, heard, loved, and communicating is how we do that. And so if you can use these three tips for listening, well, pause and pay attention, ask clarifying questions, and then validate what they tell you. So somebody feels like, gosh, they really heard me doesn’t mean you necessarily agree, but it means that you heard and you let it sink in and you, you kind of came alongside them and went, huh? I can see how you would feel that way. So validating is a huge tool in better communication. And if you use that today, I’d love to hear stories about how you do that, pop them in the comments.
And always, if you have questions about relationships and communication that you want me to cover DM me, I know some people are hesitant to pop them in the comments because they kind of want to keep it private. I’m fine with that. I’m sorry. PM me, you know, and Facebook messenger and I will cover them in these Facebook lives. Thanks Steph for being on. Thanks Karen for being on. Thanks, David Frank for watching. How you doing? I know you’re in a high risk category like I am. So I hope that you’re doing well and staying safe, David. And it, again, it is my joy to be here and share a few tips with you. We are all in this together in sharing these tips. Usually they come from something I blown the day before with my husband. So please don’t ever think I’ve got all the answers I live in through this with you. I’m struggling through this with you. I’m one foot, one step at a timing through this with you. I’m paying it deposit and pay attention, asking clarifying questions and validating my husband’s and my, my people on zoom, my clients, my kiddos concerns alongside you because we are in this together. I hope you have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.