3 Pillars to a Rockin' Relationship Audio Training Series
Session #1: Common Mistakes Most Couples Make When Communicating With Each Other & What to Do Instead
Erica: Okay, guys, it's Erica Castner with the Queen of Results. I am so excited that you have joined us today for a special audio series. This is actually the first part in a three-part audio series that's really going to rack your relationships when it comes to communicating better with your spouse or your partner. Obviously, getting a better handle on you and your money blueprints are rocking and rolling together, and, of course, we're going to be talking about intimacy and how we can be more connected with our partners. I am so excited you joined me today, but I have a very special guest on this three-part audio series. Without further ado, I would like to introduce him to the series.
He is none other than my husband, my best friend, my partner in crime. Hey, Ed. How are you?
Ed: Good. How are you doing?
Erica: Good. We're awfully snuggly today. We're very excited that you've taken the time to talk about this today because I know a few weeks ago, we were actually just talking about this very thing about couples and how they communicate with one another, and maybe one couple or one person in the couple is totally onboard with helping themselves grow professionally or personally, but sometimes the other person isn't necessarily onboard and that's a big problem, isn't it?
Ed: Yeah. That can create a giant disconnect between the two of them. When you look at this, communication is going to be critical as they move forward together, whether in marriage or just as a partnership, moving forward to where they can openly talk and grow together.
Erica: You guys might be listening to this call today because you're in one of three situations. One, you're a professional and you are wanting to take your business to the next level but sometimes you feel like your partner or your spouse isn't necessarily taking you there to that next step. They're not necessarily on the same page with your success. You might also be here because things are a little rocky in your relationship. Maybe you're rocking and rolling in your professional world but you would really like to get a better handle on you and your spouse being on the same page with finances, with intimacy, with raising kids. Is any of that sounding familiar?
If you fall into one of those two categories, you're probably a good fit for this information, and today, like I mentioned, we're going to be talking about the impact of having good communication within your relationship. Ed, I want to ask you this quick question. I'm all tongue tied because he's so handsome, sitting right here next to me. I want you to maybe tell our group today. What's the one thing that has a tendency to keep people stifled or keep people blocked from having open dialogue in their marriage?
Ed: In a lot of cases, they're not communicating the exact same way. In our case, we're very similar as far as our communication style, we're lucky that way. However, that's grown over the last two to four or five years. So many times, I might be saying one thing, my body might be saying another, or I'm communicating the way I want to communicate and delivering information the way I want to hear it, but that's not the way you receive or deliver information, in which case, from my mouth to your ears, there is a disconnect that occurs often.
Erica: I think a lot of times, you and I have spent many nights talking about how we improve our communication style because we're always coming up with a game plan. Right? I mean, there's always something that it's not you can just talk about a particular issue in your world, and then expect that it's all going to get resolved over one hour or a night of conversation. It really has to be touched on in a couple of different ways, a couple of different times in order to make sure we're still on the same page. Right?
Ed: Absolutely, because that's where the clarity comes in. Because I say something, I might think that you fully understand it, you might think that you understand it the way I delivered it, but then through further conversation, we come to a spot where what I said and how I meant it isn't how you received it. Through clarification and asking questions and further communication, that's when the whole message is delivered.
Erica: Yeah. I think there was an interesting point that you brought up the other day when we were talking about coming on to this audio recording, this session today. It's about filtering communication. Why don't you tell our listeners what you mean by that?
Ed: What I mean by filtered communication is I might not, again, I say I'm lucky because this is not the situation, but in a lot of cases, I wouldn't always tell you exactly the way I would tell something to a buddy of mine. I'd filter it. I might say to myself, "Oh, she's going to overreact if I deliver the message this way, so let me try to filter it and soft sell, if you will, to her." In a lot of cases, all that does is create bigger gaps in communication and it doesn't serve the best purpose. I mean, you want to be in a relationship where it's like, "Hey, what do you want to do this weekend?" "Well, no offense, honey, but I want to go play golf with the boys and hang out for a bit and then come home and see you," without soft selling that, and that's huge, and that's the filter.
The problem with filtering is there's enough disconnect already. You're just creating a bigger disconnect by filtering.
Erica: I think my interpretation of filtered communication is how many times listeners out there that are listening to this audio recording today, how many of you guys feel like you can tell something to your best girlfriend or you best guyfriend, but you can bark up a tree, bark up a storm about your partner with that person, but you would never go address that issue with your partner. Maybe you're talking a little bit behind their back and you're not necessarily being on upfront on your communication and the problem or the challenge you might be having with your partner, but you'll feel free to go ahead and share that with your best girlfriend or your buddies over a couple of beers. If you've been guilty of that, I have been, I am not exempt from that whatsoever. You know what? I get it, we're all human, but if we can try to minimize some of that nonsense, that's actually a better way to avoid filtering communication.
What are some other ways that you feel like couples miss the boat on their communication or they feel like there's a little bit of a disconnect and they just can't get through that hurdle?
Ed: One of the biggest things that I've found, and I read it in a book, the four agreements, is taking things personally in communication. I mean, if you make something for dinner and I'm not, I mean, it's not exactly how I would like it, I sit there and say, "Hey, dinner was great, but next time if you want to spice that up a little bit more, that'd be fine with me." This way, I can't feel free to be open and 100% honest if you're going to take things personally. I think that goes not just for us, but for all of your listeners out there today. How many times would your girlfriend say something to you or your buddy say something to you, and you don't take it personally, but as soon as your significant other or spouse says it, oh, my gosh, it's like stabbing a dagger at you.
It's the same message but it's delivered from two different people, one you take personally, one you don't. By taking things personally, oh, my gosh, then all it does is put a giant weight on that communication that you're trying to deliver. It creates a huge gap. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah. I think that there's a lot of couples out there that have a tendency to keep score with that information, too, isn't there? I mean, because instead of just taking the words for what they are and taking that as maybe some open feedback to maybe improve the situation in the future, they really say, "Oh, well I'll show him next time," or, "Well, she better not tell me that again or else." I think there's a lot of that going on and I think that is probably not captain obvious sometimes when you're doing those things, when you're trying to keep score, but I think, a lot of the times, there's a lot of passive-aggressive behavior that's going on. Right?
Ed: Oh, yeah. The longer you're together, in the beginning, it might be like, "All right, let me show this to her because last time I told her, I'm going to use the golf analogy again. The last time I went golfing with the buddies and I came back and I was 30 minutes late, she jumped down my throat. This time, I'm going to tell her I'm going to be home three hours later. I'm going to show her." All that does is create, I keep talking about the gap, but keeping score. Everything that you do, whether it is keeping score, taking things personally, filtering, all it does is it takes away that honesty and that open communication, and now puts guidelines around it. When you're trying to work inside a relationship, let's face it, guidelines make it tough, but we all do it.
I mean, we've all filtered, we've all kept score. I mean, I'm as guilty as anybody else. Believe me.
Erica: I think that we've definitely come a long way in our communication because I think just two and a half years ago when we started down this path of blending our households after we got married, it definitely put some strains on the way that we raised kids. If any of you are listening out there, you guys know a little bit about my story, how I came into this new marriage with two teenage daughters. That wasn't something that I was equipped to handle as far as working with kids, because I did not have kids prior to marrying Ed, but I'm just getting on the same page with the way that we were talking to the kids and talking to each other and blending finances and making sure we were still spending time with ourselves without necessarily the energy of the kids don't get us wrong. We love the kids but we wanted to find ways to connect with each other.
All of those things, we were working out and we were doing an okay job, but things got a little out of control. In your opinion, what do you think was the turning point for us to maybe get back on track with being a communicator with each other?
Ed: Entirely, it came down to not taking things personally and being open to the communication. When something was said, whether it was meant derogatory or not, and I took it as such, then that didn't help at all. It was that I was taking it personally, even though it had nothing to do with me, and vice versa. I mean, it was just a very stressful situation as you blend and you grow and you throw four people in a mix with different communication styles, and yet you're trying to get it all to flow, but being honest is the most critical piece to all of that. Because if you're trying to tell me, I mean, take for instance if we went to Disney, and the kids are like, "Oh, we want to go over here and do this." Then we ask, "What do you want to do?" "Yeah, that's fine. Let's go ahead and go do that." If that's not really what you want to do, it's going to show up.
Instead, say, "Hey, look, here's what I want to do." Okay. Let's formulate a plan to where everybody gets what they want or at least gets to do what they want because through that situation, and being honest, that's when you eliminate resentment. Deal with it immediately when it's super small instead of two weeks down the road or two months down the road or two years down the road when that one small instance is kept score and then turns into this gigantic ball of mess waiting to happen.
Erica: I think that it obviously sounds like we're telling our audience today that they probably should consider a plan, right? They should probably consider some sort of actionable agreement or something that they can do in the next 30 days to really get on the same page with their communication. I mean, I know what I would say. I'm in total agreement of your suggestion of having an agreement, so I think the easiest thing to tell our audience today would obviously be the two of you, you and your spouse, your partner. Carve out some time in the next seven days to set up a scheduled power hour to figure out what that agreement looks like.
Is it something that you guys do to maybe come together once a week and chime in with one another to find out what's going on with your finances or how you're working through the kid challenges? What is it that you guys are going to be talking about in that meeting to really get on the same page? Also, what are some things that you will or will not negotiate on in terms of that communication pack? Make sure that those things are ironed out. What other advice [inaudible 00:13:58] given?
Ed: Obviously, definitely, making the agreement. I mean, that's huge. I would say take 30 minutes every night just to be able to sit down and talk about your day and to communicate about your day and the things that you're going through into it unfiltered. I mean, that's the biggest agreement, I think. You tell each other, "Hey, look, we're going to be honest, we're going to unfilter it. I'm going to talk to you, honey, like I'm talking to one of my buddies," and not filter it because that's when miscommunication occurs. I think sitting down for 30 minutes, tell them exactly how it is, how their day went, and asking the other person the same questions, but both of them being honest with each other and saying, "Hey, look, this is how it went. This was good, this was bad."
Especially if kids are involved, don't filter that. Because next thing you know, it come back and it's like, "Well, that's not exactly how it went down," and then that creates an issue.
Erica: I think, too, that I think the audience members out there should really read the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. That book was an absolutely game changer for not only myself, but I know Ed has expressed how much of a game changer that's been for him, and it's actually a pretty quick read, isn't it?
Ed: It's a short book, it's my kind of book. Yep. Short, to the point, it's awesome. When you talk about in there, it starts off with being impeccable with your word, which basically means don't talk smack or bad things about people, don't gossip, that kind of a thing. If you want to ruin communication with your partner, that's a great way to start. I mean, to get away from, if your communication isn't good, I should say, start about being impeccable with your word, not talking smack about your partner like Erica said earlier to other people. Then it goes into not taking things personally and the whole nine yards. I won't ruin the whole book for you, but go out there, get it, read, it's less than a week, and I'm not a big reader, and it was four days for me.
You guys can easily do it in a week, piece of cake.
Erica: Yeah. Absolutely. I'm so excited that that gift or that book has definitely been a crucial part in how not only I communicate with you, honey, but also how I communicate with other people, as well, and just really having all four of those agreements at my disposal, and I'm human, I'll have a tendency to forget those, but that's okay. We're human, we forgive each other for those, we have those open communication meetings and we talk and we work through things, and we always come back with some sort of game plan to move us forward to creating the life that we desire. Right?
Ed: Yes, ma'am. We do.
Erica: I promise you [inaudible 00:16:48] looking at me with that fearful look that he just, it sounded like he did, but he does not.
Ed: No, you were so passionate, the only thing I can say was, "Yes, ma'am." I mean, I'm onboard. Hit it.
Erica: Good. I hope you guys found today's session super impactful. We're going to be getting into some amazing things on how to really looking at the next session is look at your money blueprint. Oh, my gosh. This was so critical for me and Ed to go through about two years ago to get on the same page. When we walked into this marriage, we were literally walking into $20,000 of debt. Right, honey?
Erica: That wasn't necessarily all his fault, it wasn't all my fault, but we had to get on the same page and it was really challenging to work through maybe some resentments when one person thinks that you're walking into one financial situation and the other person is just not really on the same page with that. Wanted to make sure that we created a part in this three-part series for y'all that really touches on the importance of making sure that your money personalities are singing the same song, you're doing things to record your spending habits, so we're going to talk a little bit about that. We're going to make it fun, I promise, and we're going to be talking a little bit about a cool activity that you can do to really understand the other person's money blueprint or money personality. We won't reveal it out right now, we're going to share that with you in the next audio session, which will be in your inbox in the next few days.
Anything else you want to touch on about that series?
Ed: Absolutely. First, go through this communication session and listen to this audio a couple of times. Read the four agreements because the communication and being open and honest and not taking things personally will really help when we get to that financial sector. Believe me, it will really, really help, and that's one of the things where we could then have an open and honest conversation about something that we all hold very dear in a lot of ways, hold it too close to us, but that's talking about money.
Without open communication, the financial conversation probably won't go nearly as well unless you have done a few things to help open up your communication.
Erica: Oh, that's for dang sure, absolutely. Yeah. Definitely go back and repeat this session if you need to. Make sure you've got real clarity on what are some things that you can do to open up the communication with your partner, definitely read the four agreements, the money personality session or the finance piece of this series is actually going to be in your inbox in the next few days. I promise for those of you that are bogged down by numbers and really do not like to talk about money or numbers, you'll still want to chime in because it's going to be really super fun and we're definitely going to give you a ton of information to move you forward to open up that line of communication about money and then, of course, we save the best for last with intimacy. We'll talk about that.
You got to get through session one and two before you get to that part anyway. Definitely, chime in to that. I want to thank you guys for chiming in today, I'm so excited, you have chosen to be a part of this series. Please let me and Ed know what are some things that you want us to discuss in the continuation of this series. There are some things that we could be giving you more value when it comes to creating a communication game plan with your partner and really revving up your dialogue between not only your partner, but your other coworkers, your friends, your family, just really opening that up so you feel like you're in a good place and you're not tiptoeing around any certain situation. You really feel like you're connected to the communication process.
Let us know that feedback. You can simply e-mail me, Erica@thequeenofresults.com. Of course, you can always go to the queen of results business coaching and consulting Facebook page and leave those comments there, as well, and you can always chime in to the queenofresults.com blog to learn more ways on how you can be more successful when it comes to creating the business and life you absolutely desire. Until next time, I'm Erica Castner. Take care.
Session #2 Coming Soon
Session #3 Coming Soon
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