Couple Dialog can feel weird. Partly because the speaking and listening is intentional.
It only feels weird for a few weeks
After about two weeks it gets more natural. Like many new things, we start off slow.
After practicing most days for two weeks you’ll get fluent. Then it can feel almost natural for you to both be intentional. Strange that!
You’ll use it to resolve issues
Anyway, it gets easier, much faster, more natural as you get fluent using the couple dialog in conversations. As you share what you would prefer, rather than just problem-saturated conversations, you’ll also be able to use it to resolve issues.
Generally, we might not be used to ‘intentional’ anything. Most of our interactions seem to be spontaneous. And spontaneous seems natural to us. So we might feel a little uncomfortable using the Couple Dialog.
Intentional communication is a way of communicating that deliberately fosters social and emotional skill development in conversations with your partner. Some people want this for their relationship.
Sometimes, to one person in the couple, the intentional conversation can feel patronizing. Like speaking down to someone. And that can be a barrier that prevents some couples from communicating.
The awkward feelings can be overcome easily.
Overcoming the Awkward feeling
Ask ”why am I here?”
”Why am I getting relationship help?”
Is it to feel comfortable?
Or have I come to improve in the way we communicate?
To be able to resolve hot topics? Have I come to seek an apology process to heal past hurts?
If you have come to get help for the relationship, and not for comfort, then ask yourself “Am I prepared to feel a little awkward and uncomfortable in order to improve the relationship?”
Usually that puts clear perspective on whether we are OK to put aside personal comfort in order to have better communication and a better relationship.
If avoiding the awkward feeling that can come with speaking intentionally is of greater value to you than the relationship, then you’ll possibly choose not to engage in Couple Dialog.
So thinking of it as a choice around priorities can help you decide. It can be as simple as, “What is more valuable to me?
Practice for 8 minutes-a-day
When you get together each evening, practice the couple dialog by asking “Is now a good time to talk”. Then share your day with your partner. They will reflect.
By taking turns as The Speaker and The Receiver, you will keep your skills sharp. Then, when a hot-topic or big-issue bubbles up, you’ll be prepared to talk about it in a couple Dialog.
When you struggle to keep in the dialog, call me for support. We can have the chat in my practice and I’ll help you both in the process.