Wowsers! —Was I ever convicted!
I figure if I can relate, so can you.
My hubby and I don’t always communicate well. Same with my kids. We need help. Here’s what I’ve learned from “Supernatural Relationships” (In simple terms cause I’m not too bright!) :
(If you’d like more info on this, trot on over and check out Craig Hill’s resources at https://familyfoundations.com. I highly recommend them!)
The Topical Level covers what we talk about on the surface: Kids, weather, cleaning, bills, work, even fun stuff like vacations. Most conversations are topical, especially in marriage.
Watch out folks! The Relational Level covers talk which touches us below our surface, deeper down where emotions lie. When we’re talkin topics, our tone, body language, and often even our words are speaking directly to the heart or relational level of our listeners.
The best way to explain this is by a simple example:
Let’s take a drive and break down our talk:
Who’s talking: Husband and Wife
Comment : “You’re driving too fast.”
Now, regardless of who says this, the topical message is clear: car speed.
The relational message is deeper, however, buried under the surface of the words.
Depending on the receiver, the “heart” or relational message might be something like this: “You’re not competent. I don’t trust you.”
OK…now…add in tone and body language, which are 55% of communication and you may have one insulted spouse.
I’m thinking about this.
I may mess up with my words and body language, BUT, I really DO WANT my husband (and kids!) to understand my feelings from a deeper, relational level. I WANT TO COMMUNICATE:
I love you. I appreciate you.
The key to heartfelt communication, according to Hill, is to understand what your words may be communicating to the heart of your listener.
I think I need help remembering this stuff.
Craig suggests a good reminder is to drop your eyes down to your listener’s heart before you speak.
That’s where your words are falling.
It’s OK to communicate on a topical level, but don’t forget to add reassuring “heart talk” for balance.
Watch your tone and watch your body language!
And, for heaven’s sake: