web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Active Listening And The 10 Commandments of Communication

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

Some people are natural communicators. They know how to get their point across without damaging their relationships. Others (probably most of us) need some guidance on where to focus and what to steer clear of. If you are looking to learn communication skills that make a difference, the Ten Commandments of Communication offer timeless principles that can help.

The reason I call them “commandments,” is to stress the idea that most people would never think of transgressing the basic principles of our faith like killing, stealing or breaking the Shabbos. Yet, how many couples find it difficult to avoid criticizing each other (and find it difficult to instead use endearing words on a consistent basis)? Couples need a short list of the dos and don’t of how to communicate.

The Ten Commandments of Communication are based upon two principles: (1) to avoid the damaging effects of critical language; and (2) to focus on positive and nurturing words.

On one tablet are five “Thou Shall Nots,” and on the other tablet are five “Thou Shall.”

Couples who insult, judge or blame one another damage their relationship and cause unneeded stress to their marriage. In addition, those who insinuate or who embarrass each other will deplete their emotional savings accounts and cause lasting damage to their relationship. No one likes being criticized, blamed, or belittled, especially in marriage, where close daily contact necessitates a high level of sensitivity and understanding.

To make a marriage great, you need to fulfill the Thou Shalls. They focus on positive and nurturing statements that are caring and empathetic. The Thou Shalls encourage couples to empathize and find the good in one another. They are as important to human relationships as are the commandments to believe in G-d, and to not worship idols, important to Judaism and to our relationship with our Creator.

To evaluate how you’re communicating in your marriage I suggest you periodically take a moment to see if you are following the Ten Commandments of Communication. Are your words accepting, friendly, compassionate, and understanding? Or, are they critical, aggressive, insulting or belittling? If the overall tone of your conversations is angry, critical, or confrontational, you are probably transgressing the Thou Shall Nots. If you are using affirmative and encouraging words then you are fulfilling the positive emotional “mitzvos” for one another, and growing closer together each day.

Beginning your conversations with the right attitude is one way to fulfill the “commandments.” In the same way that we meditate about the greatness of G-d and our love for Him before we pray, couples should also arouse a love for one another and think about the importance of their relationship before they speak. The inner message is, “I love you and care about you, and I want to deepen our relationship.” When you begin with the right intention, you’ll have a greater chance of using words that build happiness in your marriage. Having the right inner message may be your best guide in evaluating whether what you are about to say will push your spouse further away or bring him or her closer.

The following principles can also be helpful:

1. Soften your approach to the argument. Be less confrontational in your responses. Instead, make your tone with your spouse soft and tender so he or she will feel secure. Avoid criticism at all costs! Spouses cannot connect when they tear each other down.

2. Validate what your spouse is feeling, instead of criticizing.

3. Listen sincerely to your spouse. Hear what he or she is really saying.

4. Show an understanding of the heart. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes while listening intently to what he or she says. Then communicate that you see the problem from his/her perspective. Put the argument on common ground by agreeing, “This is our problem.”

5. Be willing to compromise. The relationship is far more important than the issue.

6. Give your spouse attention and affection. Try to communicate statements like, “I’m here and I’m not leaving.” Point out the positive changes your spouse has made in your life.

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, treating Anxiety and Depression, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Brooklyn. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com, email rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com or call 646-428-4723.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Active Listening And The 10 Commandments of Communication”

  1. Charis Lim says:

    How come 6 only and not 10?

  2. Charis Lim says:

    How come 6 only and not 10?

  3. you said ten commandment, but I see only six what is wrong?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli rescue volunteers confer with Chabad emissary in Kathmandu, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz.
Power Blackouts, Supply Shortages Hampering Rescue Efforts in Nepal
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

Teens-Twenties-logo

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

Schonfeld-logo1

But Pi Day is worst of all
I want the extra credit bad
But trying to remember many numbers
makes me sad.

Several thousand Eastern European Jews had escaped Nazi death and Soviet persecution by fleeing to Shanghai, China.

Now that we’re back to chometz, it’s just the right time to give thought to our wellbeing. Who doesn’t want to lose a few bulky matzah-and-potato pounds? Who wouldn’t like to eat smarter and feel better? If you’re like most people I know, these are probably the first things you’d like to address. It’s time […]

My mother-in-law and I have had our problems since the beginning of my marriage.

It was Lia van Leer who changed the image of filmmaking in Israel so that it is now seen as an expression of culture and not mere entertainment.

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Teens-at-risk feel alienated from their parents and often believe that no one is interested in hearing about their problems.

Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one – usually a parent or other caregiver – to whom the child is attached.

I try to focus on the parents in a way that is not often addressed. As soon as the child gets anxious, the parent gets anxious;

Most people are not aware that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/active-listening-and-the-10-commandments-of-communication/2013/07/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: