By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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. . . faster than it was taking to have it.”
My clients often question/comment on the amount of time it takes to communicate better. I always tell them the investment upfront will save so much time spent dealing with misunderstandings/arguments, feelings of hurt, anger, abandonment, or not being seen or heard. People’s recovery from poor interactions can be from almost immediately to a week! How do you want to spend your time?
S L O W E V E R Y T H I N G D O W N
If you take the time to RESPOND this way: “I heard you say . . . [fill in what they actually said, not your interpretation of what s/he said. Did I get everything?” I promise your conversation is going to always work better than if you REACT by . . .
. . . Deflecting (Teflon)
. . . Defensiveness
. . . Stonewalling
. . . Contempt
. . . Belittling
. . . Criticism
. . . Disagreeing (of course you are entitled to your view/opinion – you just need to listen, respond with empathy, and then share your POV [point of view).
. . . Arguing
Please let this sink deeply into you: Don’t believe everything you think.
Be curious. You can experiment with any of these opening lines:
Tell me more . . .
Say more about that . . .
What does that mean to you?
How are you feeling?
What are you feeling in your body?
I’m curious about . . .
What is most important in what you’re telling me?
What do you know in yourself about that?
[Repeat back a word or two You’re feeling (sad, anxious, confused) . . .
What does your expression/body posture mean [gently describe what you see?
Can you go deeper with that . . .
How does that play out between us?
How does that show up in our relationship?
That must be [hard, sad, etc. . . .
I’m trying to get a felt-sense of that, can you describe it more . . .
How was that for you?
Your time is precious. Do you want to spend it getting connected with your partner, or irking one another?
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