Isn’t it sad that even while we are so advanced technology wise, we are still not (or no longer) able to listen and speak well? The ones we don’t like to talk to or listen to we just “mute” on social media platforms or ignore them in emails and chats. At home we escape arguments because we seldomly see each other anymore…
“In the midst of plenty, it seems there exists a famine of genuine communication.” (Jay E. Adams in Competent To Counsel, p. 211)
A common dog owner problem: I’m at the beach with Rapsy and Missy and they are not listening well while I’m calling them back. I could scream, I could stamp my feet on the ground, I could wave my arms around… nothing would help. It’s not that they don’t hear me. It’s not that they don’t see me. It’s a communication problem between us.
The main reason for misunderstandings in relationships is a wrong or non-existing communication. Another hinderance is, of course, blaming one another for things gone wrong. Shifting the blame never solves the problem, the right kind of communication does.
It won’t help me to blame my dogs for their wrong behavior and think it’s due to their circumstances, their upbringing, or their genes — the world likes to do that but it never helped much. It’s not even a matter of “talking (down) in their language” — I may try to imitate a growling but I cannot “talk” (bark) dog language to them. But we still have to understand each other somehow.
Now this is not just a problem between dogs and their owners. We find this problem in many marriages and families of today. And the less we can communicate with each other the less we want to talk to each other, the less we will have communication with each other.
The hardest time to sit down and talk to one another is while we are having problems. That’s when we start attacking the other person and we are tempted to say words that will hurt the other person. We need to learn how to communicate even when we are in disagreement. Here is a simple advice on that:
“Attack problems, not persons, with words.” (Jay E. Adams in Christian Living In the Home, p. 39)
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