Sit close together in up right chairs, pick who goes first and look into your partners eyes. Each person gets to speak uninterrupted for 2 minutes with no comments, criticism, clarification or facial expression to display any emotion.
Now switch seats, the “Listener” is sitting in the “Speakers” seat. Take 2 minutes to repeat as much as you remember from what you heard.
Once you have finished go back to your own seat and repeat the exercise switching “Speaker” and “Listener.”
Do not go into autopsy mode until both partners have had their uninterrupted opportunity to speak.
Do not fall into the pit of criticism…”I didn’t say that” “You never listen” “You never do anything right” “why can’t you just follow directions” “Stop laughing at me”
I can go on and on with the comment trail, just trust that the more you do this exercise the more closely you will pay attention to each other and eventually after a few times you will definitely have an improved level of communications.
Employ this method whenever you feel out of touch with each other or those days where you want to scream “YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!!!!!!” Most of the time it’s not that the person isn’t listening it’s because the habit of simply talking without listening to feed back or asking questions and not waiting for an answer before running ahead and answering it for your partner, has become so pervasive and eventually toxic to the relationship.
Develop a code with which to alert your partner that you are reaching a level of frustration that requires intervention of the “Mirror.” BACON, BISCUIT, TIME OUT may be a few good suggestions, come up with your own but they better not be an aggressive outburst of need, that starts the exercise with a heavy agenda because guess what you’ll get out of it? Not a lot.