I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

I’m a good listener, or so I’ve been told by many over the years.  There are others who would likewise deny such a claim.  Speaking as objectively as I can, I think I’m a good listener, but I’m absolutely terrible at communicating my ideas, which includes responses to what I’ve been told.  Add in the double whammy of a little low-level autism and some genderbent filters, either or both of which will futz with me at random, and it makes communication a little screwball sometimes.  That’s causing some serious issues in my personal world right now, and this title crossed my path without me having to look it up, so I take these things as a sign.

Synopsis:

What if making one tweak to your day-to-day conversations could immediately improve every relationship in your life?

In this three-hour, conversational listen, you’ll discover the whats, whys, and hows of one of the most valuable (yet surprisingly little-known) communication skills – validation.

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life.

Mastery of this simple skill will enable you to:

  • Calm (and sometimes even eliminate) the concerns, fears, and uncertainties of others
  • Increase feelings of love, respect, and appreciation in your romantic relationships
  • Quickly resolve, or even prevent, arguments
  • Help others become open to your point of view
  • Give advice and feedback that sticks
  • Provide support and encouragement to others, even when you don’t know how to “fix” the problem
  • And much more

In short: this skill is powerful. Give the principles and practices in this book a chance and you’ll be amazed at the difference they can make.

Validation.  Just as the title suggests, it’s that special bit that adds to a conversation that says, “I understand how you feel.”  It’s not about right or wrong, it’s not about agreement, it’s not about logic, it’s not even about offering advice.  It’s simply about acknowledging the emotion that makes deeper relationships possible, and that means understanding another’s perspective.

I won’t lie.  That sounds great.  My head and my heart both respond to that.  It also makes me aware, given the baggage I deal with everyday, how a lack of real validation from others set an unknowing template in my own communications.  I don’t get a lot of social interaction.  What little I do get is awkward, and I’m often hiding who I am from those who would never get or simply have no need to know.  That false front formed a barrier in there somewhere, where I can think I’m validating someone, but they may not feel I’ve done so.  This is a message I’ve gotten loud and clear recently, without understanding why or how.  My personal issues go both ways, and the nature of them is that I am often unrelatable to others.  People who are in the know come right out and say as much.  And that’s no surprise, but it does lead to a communications shutdown, and it does affect how much I reciprocate, intentionally or not.  In other words, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to these things.  It’s happened in relationships a number of times, and it’s happened in my blog more than I care to count.

So I listen to this audiobook.  “Example 1: the frustrated spouse.  Emily is driving me crazy!  … She thinks she always has to have things her way…”  Um… fucking ouch?  Did I mention this book found me, not the other way around?  Yeah.  Ok, Mr. Sorensen, you’ve called me out by name.  I’m all in on this validation thing.  It’s a skill like any other, which means I need to practice it.  It also means I’m going to fall short of the mark from time to time.  I won’t beat myself up over it, but I will attempt to be mindful of opportunities as they arise.  And maybe — just maybe — if I can improve, I can change the dynamic in those around me.  Worth a shot, right?

5 thoughts on “I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

  1. Pingback: October 2018 Overview and Assessments | Knight of Angels

  2. Communication is a tricky thing. First, there is body language. Second, facial expression. Third, language. Fourth, background. Fifth, emotional state. Everyone truly wants to be understood but, more often than not, we have individual filters that information has to wind its way thru.

    Your posts are amazing. There are many times I have thought to myself “I wish I could write & express myself like that.” But, I also know that written expression is much different than speech. I can say that sitting & thinking & typing is much easier for me than thinking on my feet or shooting from the hip.

    I have no advice…only observations…and, understanding. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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