This month’s Double Date with Mark and Jill focuses on the three communication tools of reflection, empathy, and validation.  After you watch the video, spend a few minutes considering the personal reflection questions (if you’re watching without your spouse) or talk through the discussion questions (if you’re watching with your spouse!)

Transcript: 3 Communication Tools We All Need To Be Using  

Audio

 

Discussion Questions (If your spouse is also watching with you):

When you think about the home in which you grew up, did you feel heard by your parents?  What were the unspoken communication “rules” your family lived by?  (Hint: this question may give you insight to empathize with your spouse and validate his or her responses to you in the other questions.)

Can you think of someone who listened to you in a way that made you really feel heard?  Who was it and what did he or she do to make you feel heard and valued?

Do you feel heard by me?  (Hint: this is a great time to practice reflective listening!)
If not, can you share with me what habits I have that cause you to feel like I’m not listening?

Do you feel safe to share your heart and your feelings with me?  If not,  can you share why? (Hint, it’s very important that you reflect, empathize, and validate however your spouse answers this question because when you do, you are building emotional safety!)

Do I tend to jump into trying to fix rather than feel with you?  Could we come up with some sort of “code word” or “code phrase” you could use to help me catch myself doing that?

What would happen if we replaced defensiveness or sarcasm or impatient responses with reflective, empathizing, and/or validating responses?  Can we give it a try?  If we mess up, can we call for a do-over?

What’s one way I can encourage you this week? 

 

Personal Reflection Questions (If your spouse isn’t interested in watching with you or for you to consider on your own after you discuss the video with your spouse):

When you think about the home in which you grew up, did you feel heard by your parents?  What were the unspoken communication “rules” your family lived by?  (Hint: this question may give you insight into your own personal communication habits and hangups.)

When you think about the home in which your spouse grew up, did he/she feel heard by his/her parents? Were there any unspoken communication “rules” his/her family lived by?  (Hint: this can help you increase your compassion and empathy for your spouse.)

Can you think of someone who listened to you in a way that made you really feel heard?  Who was it and what did he or she do to make you feel heard and valued?

Evaluate your default responses to your spouse:
*Do you try to fix rather than feel?
*Do you tend to defend or debate?
*Do you go passive instead staying an active listener?
*Do you respond passive-aggressively or with sarcastic remarks?

This week, can you purposefully work to reflect, empathize, and/or validate?  Can you slow your communication down to respond differently?