Have you ever experienced talking to someone on your mobile phone and then going inside an elevator? Right before you enter, you know that you need to give the other party a heads up that there is a great chance that you will be disconnected. Have you ever wondered — What is it with elevators? Is it the steel casing? Is it the solid solid shafts that houses the elevator or is it where elevators are usually located that makes the signal hard to reach cellphones? Whatever it is, technology has not advanced itself enough to secure an established connection in elevators. Surprisingly, many marriages are like cellphones inside elevators. After so many years, the husband & wife are still disconnected.
I recently told someone that there is a huge difference between hearing and listening. The former being involuntary and the latter requiring some sort of focus and attention. You might be right in front of me, and you may even be looking at my direction but it doesn’t mean you are listening.
Before we go on further — on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being always clearly heard and understood — how do you rate the connection between you and your fiancee/husband?
For this article and the next, we’d like to talk about communication. This month talks about being the giver the message, and the next month we’ll talk about being the receiver of the message.
Do you find yourself often misquoted or understood? Remember, there are 4 elements of speech that you take note of. You can get better results if you take note of them at all times:
Proverbs 18:21 says “Death & Life are in the power of the tongue” which means, as the speaker, do not be in a rush to just say whatever you want. Specially in sensitive moments, choose your words well. In the movie “300” King Leonidas warns the emissary of Xerxes to choose his next words lightly because it could be his last. The emissary didn’t heed the warning and resulted in his death. Similarly, words are easy to give but they have the power to encourage people or put them down. Whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Was actually lying and should have said “but your words can break my heart and spirit”.
Sometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it. In one story in the bible, Jesus asked His apostles which was better — a man who says no and then does it or a person who said yes and then didn’t do it. Naturally, the apostles replied “The one who refused but in the end did it anyway”. Such is true for a person who may have a proper sentence constructed and yet adds a negative tone into it.
Warning: In these times where many of our communication are not verbal, such as text or emails, Tone is very hard to predict. That’s why I recommend for sensitive issues that you call instead of simply texting.
C. Body Language
You may have the right words and a nice tone but if you include some roll eyes with it, it will be received negatively. You can say “Yes, dear” and say it in a very submissive way, but if you’re not moving from that TV set or that couch, then expect a negative response.
Last but not the least, timing is key… you can be ok with all the first 3 elements, but anything said at the wrong time is bound to fail. My wife, Monique, is pretty good at this, she knows when it’s not a good time to talk to me. When words would just get lost and she knows I have a tendency of really putting a sound proof wall around me. Also, when the person you are speaking to is too emotional or high strung, sometimes it’s good to wait it out before doing your explanation.
Keeping these in mind does not guarantee you will be always understood, there might be more elements as pointed out such as the receptivity of the person you are speaking to but keeping these in mind will dramatically improve connection.
Read more of John & Monique’s WaW Before I Do articles at weddingsatwork.com/category/waw-before-i-do/.
- About John & Monique Ong:
John is a pastor at Revelation City Church, Scuba Diving instructor and owns Imagine Nation photo + Video. He is a graduate of business management at DLSU and took up Masteral in Marketing in the same school and is currently in the Pastoral counseling course at Asian Theological Seminary. Monique is a creative wife / help mate to John, a wedding hosts and heads Post Ad ventures (an Events Management company), a youth pastor in Revelation and writes in their blog called “an ounce of faith”. She took Tourism in UP Diliman.