Who Is Driving The Train?
Do you ever find yourself in a conversation where the other person sits at the controls and will not let go? Maybe the individual is trying to sell you something. Maybe the individual is on a rant of righteous indignation. Maybe the individual is “asleep at the wheel” and fails to notice there is another person in the equation. Maybe you are that individual.
Some of us may identify more as talkers or more as listeners. What deepens intimacy is the engagement of two people inquiring of one another and confiding in one another. If one tries to “sell” the other–whether it is an item or an idea–the dynamic is likely conducive to dominance or possibly debate. This has its place but make no mistake that it is happening when it is.
If one rants as a habit, the pattern of behavior casts a pall of complaining and blaming, leaving little room for self-reflection and re-evaluation. The expression of righteous indignation presents an opportunity to expunge injustice if it brings us to the frustration, sadness, and disappointment for what offense hurt us. Again, this has its place.
Being “asleep at the wheel” entails obliviousness to connection with the other person in the path of communication. The individual monopolizes the conversation and, even if a question passes between them, the answer becomes fodder for further argument in favor or against the point that the individual belabors.
Nobody likes to feel railroaded. Everybody likes to have their thoughts and feelings acknowledged. Amid the seasons of our lives, we go through times of need for self-revolving attention. Even at these times, one therapeutic approach is to take the focus off of ourselves and notice and consider others’ thoughts and feelings. Therefore, where episodes of dominance occur, endeavor to BALANCE the conversation at hand and/or BALANCE the dynamic over time.
Learn to be curious about others, and learn to teach others break the habit of dominance. If you would like to build your communication skills TIME, please contact me, Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation, and I will guide you in the establishment of your presence.
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