Best communication for a power struggle - couple sitting facing each other

Best Communication tool for a power struggle

Many of us live busy, stressful lives. Instead of a power struggle over who’s the most stressed, being able to destress together is a great tool to have.

The talking stick is the best communication tool for a power struggle that ensures a code of conduct of respect. Use a small branch, pen, or something symbolic that represents the commitment and time you both have for each other. Each of you should have a turn with the talking stick, where whoever is holding it is the only one speaking, and the other partner must listen quietly and respectfully before you swap over.

Begin with 5 minutes (increase this with time) to share what’s on your mind and how you are feeling without judgement. If need be, swap over a few times.

  • You can just listen.  There’s no need to think about what you’re going to say because you’re not going to be able to speak until you get the talking stick.
  • You get to wait your turn.  Too often we want to talk over those who are speaking.  We don’t want to let others get a turn we just want to spew our opinion.
  • A talking stick can slow down the conversation.  The conversation is not just talking it’s also thinking and listening.
  • You might learn something.  When we spend all our time thinking about what we’re going to say next we’re not listening.  If we’re not listening, then there is no chance that we’re going to learn anything.
  • You might find some new respect for your partner.  When we really listen to others we have a chance of finding out something about them.  This might help us gain some respect for who they are and what they think.

Discussion with talking stick can include:

  • The stress you are under
  • What you are worried about
  • Irritations at work, home etc.

If you are the listener:

Eye contact and showing that you are interested is important.  Do not use this exercise as a time to project all your venom and pain onto your partner.

After the Talking Stick as the listener, it’s easy to give suggestions and advice. This can suggest to your partner that you are trivializing or dismissing the problem, which is not supportive.

You must let your partner know that you fully understand and empathize with the dilemma before you suggest anything. Showing you understand and have compassion is the most important.

Women tend to be more sensitive to advice-giving. Men are more hardwired to fix or “deal with” the problem. If you can realize that it’s not your responsibility, this will help you enormously.

  • Take turns discussing the Talking Stick, and what it was like for you?
  • What are the benefits of this being a regular habit?
  • How often you would like to bring this into your relationship regularly?

Tune in to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth.

Best communication tool for a power struggle –

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