In this episode, Julie Sedenko & Leslie Vernick discuss the importance and the challenges of speaking up in relationships, particularly in difficult or destructive marriages.
The Challenge of Speaking Up:
- In destructive marriages, speaking up can be scary and unsafe.
- Balancing the need to speak up for oneself with the potential negative responses.
- Referencing Matthew 7, where Jesus warns about casting pearls before swine.
The Value of Learning to Speak Up:
- Emphasizing the importance of speaking up for oneself in mature relationships.
- The need for effective communication to build healthier relationships.
- Acknowledging that speaking up doesn't always mean speaking in the heat of the moment.
Guidelines for Speaking Up:
- The wisdom of using biblical teachings to navigate different situations.
- Differentiating between speaking about someone else's behavior and one's own feelings.
- Self-reflection is important before addressing others' behaviors.
- Approach others with humility and understanding.
Navigating Difficult Conversations:
- How to keep things calm when a partner isn't interested in listening or finding solutions.
- A different approach to asking about their perspective on a healthy marriage.
- Recognizing contradictory expectations about marriage and communication.
Preparing for Meaningful Conversations:
- The importance of preparation and groundwork before discussing sensitive topics.
- The significance of speaking with love.
- Balancing truth with love to avoid coming across as harsh.
- Hard conversations require personal preparation for effective communication.
The Five Levels of Conversation:
- Superficial chitchat.
- Sharing news and facts.
- Sharing personal thoughts and ideas.
- Sharing feelings.
- Sharing one's essence and deepest self.
Creating a Safe Space for Conversations:
- Understanding potential reasons for a partner's escalation or shutdown.
- Addressing a partner's potential fear of feeling incompetent.
- Encouraging compassion and patience in understanding each other's limitations.
- Comparing emotional intimacy to physical intimacy.
Overcoming Resistance and Creating Safety
- What happens when one partner resists opening up or having deep conversations.
- Establishing a safe space is crucial. This can be done through various boundaries and techniques.
Balancing Expectations and Reality
- Sometimes partners have different communication styles and comfort levels.
- Understanding your partner’s background, upbringing, and communication patterns can help bridge the gap.
- Recognize that not all conversations need to be extensive or immediate. Patience and consistency are key.
Navigating Disagreements and Escalation
- How to handle situations when a conversation has escalated.
- Emphasize mutual respect and recognize when emotions are becoming heated.
Walking in Core Strength Group Coaching Program: www.leslievernick.com/strength
Love Talk Starters: 275 Questions to Get Your Conversations Going by Les & Leslie Parrott