People say communication is essential in every relationship. However, one must understand the value of timing in every conversation. Often, you and your partner need to both make a decision on some things where you need the other’s undivided attention. However, untimely conversation and improper tone about certain things can be a source of frustrations that lead to conflicts. Learn how to effectively improve communication with timing by planning and setting the time to share, express, and have a mutual agreement on what you feel with your partner.
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Below is a transcript of the video and audio above. The paragraphs and sections are alternated between bold / not bold for ease of reading along with the video or audio.
Why Timing Is Important In Communication
This show is all about timing. When you have something urgent for you, it may not be the best timing for your partner. We’re going to talk about timing and how important it is. My time might be different from his time. I know that in the early part of our relationships, both of us, this is not a gender thing. It’s not like, “All females do this, all males do this or kids do this.” We all do this as humans. We have something that is on our mind. We’re like, “I have to talk about this.” I run up to him. I’m like, “I’ve got to talk to you about this.” He’s in the middle of making lunch or something.
First of all, a lot of women complain about our partner’s not paying attention, listening or being able to hear us. When you work with this part of timing that we’re going to discuss, you’ve got his undivided attention because you’ve agreed he’s agreed with you. “I want to talk to you about this kid soccer this weekend.” He’s like, “Right now.” I’m like, “No, let’s talk after we drive the kids off for school or after you’re done. When is it good for you?” You check in with each other. I’ve got this to talk about. It’s on my mind.
What I’ve done is started writing a list of, “We’ve got to talk about the taxes. We’ve got to talk about the soccer tournament. We’ve got to talk about my mom’s birthday. When is a good time to sit down and talk about it?” We’ll make an appointment. “I’m going to drive the kids. I’m going to go work out. Can we do it then?” “No, I’ve got a client then, but I’m free from this time to this time.” “Do you want to grab lunch?” “Yeah, let’s do it over lunch.” At lunch, he knows that I have something to talk about. He’s aware I need his attention. I need his input on something.
What’s important that it’s not coming from a perspective where I’m receiving it as a dump of information. I don’t know what to do with all of that information. Hence, the surprise of, “Do we have to talk about this now?” You want to be specific on the request of wanting to talk to each other and not feeling that it’s a dump of information, the urgency of it. There’s nothing that’s too urgent unless it is urgent. All that to say is we all run our story in our heads. Whether we’re reading, whether we’re watching TV, whether we’re doing any type of activity, we are doing something and we’re thinking of continuous thoughts in our heads. All of a sudden, when our partner comes up to us thinking, “Now it’s time to talk to my partner about the taxes, about whatever the plan for tomorrow.” We’re not there. We’re not tracking at the same level yet. You can’t expect your other partner, your other half to say, “It’s good.” No, it’s not. It’s that we’ve got to find the right timing for both of us to agree when this is the right time to start talking about the planning of the date together or the soccer tournament or whatever.
We’re not talking about everyday conversations like walking him and go, “The puppy run up the stairs or the kids did this,” or whatever it is. We’re talking about when something is a topic that you need a decision, you need to discuss something that’s like taxes, my in-laws coming into town, things that you need to both make a decision on. You’ve made a decision, but you want to tell your partner about it. It’s a big decision. It might have something to do with money or finances or something like that. That’s what we’re talking about. It’s something where you need the person’s undivided attention, not when they’re making lunch, not when they’re getting ready to walk out the door, not when they’re in the middle of watching a hockey game.
We had such a situation where Frederic came out to me, he was like, “I checked out the bills. We’re going to need this amount.” I was getting ready to go out with a bunch of girlfriends. I wasn’t in bill mode. I wasn’t in like, “What are the bills that we have or the money that we need for the bills in our account.” It was like, “I’m going to get to go play with my friends,” mode. I was all dolled up, ready to go, literally almost grab my purse to get up and go. He came into the office and said that to me. It was like the timing on that was bad. A perfect example of him saying, “I’ve got to talk to you about the bills. Can I do that now or when you get back?” I would’ve said, “No, I’m walking out of the door. Let’s do it when I get back.” We realize this because in our marriage this did cause some conflict.
We see this with the couples that have been in our couple’s retreat, the couples that we coached together. It’s that timing is one of those things that it can knock someone off of their path and knock someone off of what they’ve got going on. Other examples that we’ve understood what as we communicate about timing is he’s a night guy. I’m more of a morning person. He comes alive at night. We would be sitting there and I usually do my three warnings of, “I’ve got to go to bed,” and then I wait a little bit. I say, “I’ve got to go to bed.” Usually, on the third time, I’m like, “I’ve got to go to bed.” Right before I make that announcement or even between, he used to say, “I talked to the accountant and he needs this and this.” I would be like, “Are you kidding me?”
I am winding down and that jolt of Information because I’m such an accomplishment junkie, now I’m thinking about it like a dog with a bone. Now I’ve got this to do. I couldn’t go to sleep because now I’ve got to get this for the accountant. Instead of going to bed, I would then go downstairs to the office and get what I needed for the accountant. My mind doesn’t work that way. The same thing with him. I can’t wake him up in the morning and go, “I need to talk to you. Are you going to drive the kids to school? I’m going to go to the gym. Leslie is going to come over and we’re going to go to breakfast.” He’d be like, “Too much information in the morning.”
You could see how it’s a source of frustration and it can cause conflicts. Does it ever happen where we’ll never do that? No, it comes back. There is a way to figure that out. I came to her without asking her, “Is this a good time?” It does happen. When it does happen, the intensity is not as strong as in other situations. The conflict is not as big because now we’re both aware of how to realize and how to say things to each other where we come together and we realize that the timing is good. We both agree with a certain subject that we feel that it’s important to talk about together.
If your partner comes to you and says, “I need to talk to you about this,” you could say, “Right now is not a good time. It’s not the time for that. Can we talk after the kids go to bed or can we talk later?” You can initiate it either way. For me as a woman, for example, I could come to him and say, “I need to talk to you about the kids’ soccer tournament. Let me know when a good time is for you.” Letting them know that it’s not now that I need to talk to him about it but let me know what’s good for you. I’m respecting him, I’m considering him. He gets to tell me what’s good for him.
Perfect love, I’ll receive what she’s saying and then I’ll respond according to my schedule. Either I say, “Perfect love, I’ll come back to you. I’ll check my entire schedule. See what the best moment, the best time is.” I’ll let her know, “Perfect, I’m ready to talk to you. Let’s do it tomorrow at breakfast together.” We can spend the time doing that.
The other thing is if your partner comes to you and says, “I’ve got to talk to you about the bills or I’ve got to talk to you about accounting or it’s important I give you the schedule right now.” It’s like, “Honey, it’s not the right timing. I’m not going to be able to be present with you. I need to focus on what I’m doing.” He’ll come to my office sometimes now and go, “I’ve got to talk to you about this.” I’m like, “I’m getting on a client call. I’ve got to focus on what I’m doing or I’m about to teach a class, can I talk to you about it after?” He’s like, “Sure, no problem.” It’s an effective way to communicate. That’s the initial communication. What happens is that stick with the agreed upon time. Your relationship is not a business. It’s not like, “We have an appointment at [2:00].”
It’s a loving relationship. It’s a way to agree again on certain subjects together as a partnership because it’s easy to say, “Take care of it, love. I don’t want to deal with that.” That’s not any better. It’s like there’s still these areas in life where both of you as a partnership come together and deal with those situations. Maybe it’s not a subject that is important to you. At least you get to know that decision that she or he is taking. You don’t need to know all of the steps. Sometimes she tells me, “Don’t be too specific. Tell me generally.” I’ll tell her, “I’ve handled that situation. It’s being taken care of. I want you to know it’s done.” She knows that it’s done. It’s not an avoiding of a certain subject.
I’ll take care of this. You take care of that. You’d have to be aware in each of the things that surround your couple because then if he makes a decision, I’m not aware of it. He figures. I’m like, “I don’t want to know about it, but I don’t agree with it,” or if it was out of alignment. Now we’ve talked about it. We at least discussed it. It’s him to take care of.
It’s no surprises that can arise into conflict and drama or situation that we don’t necessarily want.
We don’t want him to be the rescuer of something and then we feel like a victim of something. We’re going to get into the drama triangle and how that interacts in our relationships. I know there have been some people that said, “We’d love more information on parenting, not inside the drama triangle and how we handle it with our kids and things like that.” Now with timing, approach your partner with, “I need to talk about this. I’d like to talk about this. Is now a good time or when would be a good time for you?” Let him or she respond. Grab lunch or sit down after you agreed upon, after the kids had gone to school, after the kids had gone to bed, after you’ve had your breakfast, after you’re done with your workout. Whatever it is, whatever you mutually agreed upon.
When you go to be with each other and you have this list of things that you need to talk about or it might be one thing like accounting, finances, your mother-in-law coming into town, whatever it is. You can then say in the language that we shared about in other episodes, “I feel this. I would prefer this. I would appreciate this. It’s important for me that,” so that you’re coming from the I. “I know your mom is coming into town for a week and I would prefer that you and I have a little bit of alone time or we have a break,” or whatever it is. “The bills are coming up or this amount is due.”
I would love for us to be prepared for this occasion that we have.
You’re coming from the I. You’re sharing how you feel to your partner, letting him or her express themselves as well how they feel about this subject. Remember that you have choices. It’s not one way or the other way. When you’re brainstorming options, be open to all the different options. Agree on what you need to agree on and how that person than be the one that’s responsible. It’s like, “I’ve got this.” Timing everything. It’s like when he says, “I’ve got that.” I can then relax. It’s up to him to follow through with what he’s got, whether it’s taking the kids to school or signing them up for soccer or whatever it is. If he’s going to watch the puppy, I’ve got this. I have to be able to relax and let go of my control and have faith and trust that my partner is there to support me in this relationship that we have and all that we’ve created together. He’s got it. I have to allow him completely in the space of the Law of Allowing to trust him that he’s got it. It’s important for him to communicate with me that I feel secure. I feel reassured that he’s taken care of it.
It’s important that it’s not all on one person to take care of everything from the household or to take care of one aspect of the relationship. It wears that person down in the end. I believe that we support each other. We’re both there. We both acknowledge every aspect of our lives together. That makes it even more of a connected couple, her and me and more of an intimate couple as well.
I want to close by saying that I love listening to classic rock. I’m a rocker. I was listening to the radio on the Sirius FM or whatever in the classic rock station. The Romantics came on and that song What I Like About You. I was like, “That’s such a good point to bring up for our show. When you think about that song, what I like about you, the way you hold me tight. It’s a song that’s focused on what do I like about you? What do I love about you? What do I appreciate about you? Whether you’re reading the blog with your partner or not, it always takes one to start initiating the subject. Start thinking about changing from the inside out instead of looking for the things that are wrong and bad, looking for the things that are right and good. The things that you do cherish about your partner and things that you love, the things that you appreciate and feel that’s within yourself. Do something to compliment your partner, to appreciate your partner.
We’ve been going a lot with the kids and the puppy. I didn’t feel like going outside because it was dark. He still needed to eat. I was like, “Babe, do you want me to prepare your meal so you could take Jax out?” He said, “Yeah.” I prepared his meal. He sat down and ate. He came up to me, made sure I had his full undivided attention and said, “I want to thank you for preparing my meal. I appreciate that.” I was able to say to him, “Thank you for taking care of Jax. I appreciate what you did.” It’s a moment in a busy life, two small kids, puppy, business, household and we’re nuts, all the stuff. It’s those small moments where we can look at each other in the eyes and say, “I appreciate how you supported me, how you helped me, how you looked at me, how you complimented me,” any of those things. It starts from the inside out and starts thinking about what you love about your partner, what you appreciate about your partner. Any final words?
Be aware and loving to each other.
Next episode is going to be on your beliefs. Stay tuned for next time. Give us a review on iTunes. If you want to learn more about our online or in-person events, coaching, anything that we have that’s the Conscious Connected Coupling with Frederic and Christy, you can go to ChristyWhitman.com. Have a great day.
Enjoy your day.
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