Working on Emotional Translation

Marriage Counselling OttawaWorking on ones listening skills is a vital part of maintaining any healthy relationship, but doing so requires more than simply hearing what a person has to say.

Hearing is a passive thing. It only requires us to dedicate our attention to a speaker and simply hear what they have to say.

Listening is an active thing. It requires a little less hearing, and a whole lot more thinking. Truly listening requires a person to dig below the surface meaning of words to get to the meaning of what a person is trying to communicate.

In the pursuit of maintaining healthy, long-lasting relationships, we need to cultivate our skills of Emotional Translation. Find out how with Marriage Therapists Ottawa.

What We Say, and What We Mean

A lot of stress and confusion occurs in life and relationships because we struggle to let other people know what we mean. The feelings in our mind are deep, nuanced, and always shifting. The words we have available to communicate them are not.

marriage therapy ottawaWhen we speak with out significant other, we want our words to convey an understanding of these feelings, but all too often they fall short. Our words paint a picture of what we mean in our partner’s mind, but like any painting, it fall short of being the real thing.

Improving the accuracy clarity of this picture is the responsibility of both parties. A speaker must do all that they can to speak clearly and honestly, but a listener must actively think about what they really mean.

“I’m Fine” – The Skill of Emotional Translation

“I’m fine”, at face value is a simple message, but rarely is it an accurate representation of what a person really means. When “I’m fine” is delivered with contempt, face value would indicate that they are in fact not fine, and are angry with us.

But with a little emotional translation, a different meaning comes through.

It is humiliating to admit to ourselves and our partners that they have the power to control, hurt, and utterly destroy us emotionally. Exposing our vulnerabilities and depending on another to respond a certain way is a tremendous risk! I’m fine is a way that a speaker can deflect attention away from the feelings they aren’t comfortable talking about.

Marriage Therapists Ottawa

marriage therapy ottawaEmotional translation is a skill that can be taught in theory, but effectively applying it can only come about though consistent practice. The best way to cultivate the skill is to work at it every day, but also talk about it with others. Sometimes we get too caught up in our own interpretations of another persons words, and it takes an impartial third perspective to lend the insight we need to properly understand.

If you’re interested with assistance cultivating your skill of emotional translation, we recommend you get in touch with Marriage Therapists Ottawa.


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