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More FREE CONTENT- Kingz and Queenz Pt. 4 Miscommunication is so easy!

Updated: Apr 10

Kingz and Queenz is meant to be a metaphor to learn from, not to discriminate against anyone. Moreover, the King and Queen are meant to be used interchangeably. There is no gender difference in any of these posts. If you are in a same sex relationship you can and will still learn in this. Just take on the energy of which partner you are in the relationship. Do you fit more of the masculine or feminine energy/role? If neither of those role's work, try and figure out which part of the metaphor you can use. This isn’t a complete gender specific example I am giving. The concept is what is important, the metaphor is meant for learning and growth. 

Miscommunication is so easy!

So many couples miscommunicate, it is one of the 4 biggest reasons I see couples. The four biggest challenges I see everyday is miscommunication, boundary issues, sex, and finances. Almost all 4 of them have layers of miscommunication in them. Most people were never taught healthy ways to communicate. There are so many reasons for the downfall of miscommunication, but we will also look at some negative and positive ways to get your needs met from your partner.

Let’s look at some basic aspects of communication at first. Definition of a word. Let’s say reassurance for example. I bet both of us have different meanings for that word. Depending on the popularity of the word and definition of what it then means. Slang also adds new definitions and variations of communication as well. For example, “sick” meaning a good thing or it being cool. Instead of meaning affected by physical or mental illness. The word “Cap” now is defined as someone lying or not telling the truth. Not a hat that covers your head. If you are bilingual as well that also is going to impact your definition of what a word means both positively and negatively at times. Most people don’t know actual definitions of words they just go off what they assume it means because they have heard it over and over again throughout their lifetime. This means we already have preconceived notions and ideas about what a word means and how we interpret and define the words are probably very different.

When I defined reassurance in my mind before I looked at the definition, I defined it as: Comfort, protection of some form, or trying to guarantee.

Definition from google and oxford:

1.     the action of removing someone's doubts or fears.

I asked someone else to define it and they said, “quality time.” What!?! Tell me more. “I want my partner to spend time with me and help me to feel loved by spending time with me. I want them to show me they care by spending time with me.” It’s not bad, I am not judging but it blew my mind that that’s what they meant or thought. I hope you can see how language impacts miscommunication quickly. As I continue to do this series, we will look at a bunch of different examples of how to help with little practical ways to miscommunicate less.

I want to discuss the four horsemen of the apocalypse again because most people communicate using this type of language. The four horsemen of the apocalypse from Dr. Gottman are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. The biggest problem with all four of these communication styles is they don’t communicate your needs. Communicating your needs is the most important part of what you should be saying. The second biggest problem with the four horsemen in particular is that they feel like an emotional punch. Now we have two partners that are emotionally sparing, instead of meeting each others needs. Criticism sounds like this:

“You are always on your phone.”,

“You always play video games instead of hang out with me.”, 

“You never clean up after yourself.”,

“You are so messy.”,

“All you ever want is sex.”, 

“You never take me on dates.”,

“How come you never take me on dates?”,

“You never change.”,

“You are always gonna be like this.”

Now let’s look at the needs for each of these statements (not in order): 

“I want some of your attention when you are off your phone.”, 

“I am anxious who you are talking to on your phone.”,

“I am sad, bored, and lonely, can we hang out?”,

“I am overwhelmed by all our responsibilities and need help.”,

“I get so frustrated when we always have a dirty house, can we both make a better effort to keep it clean, please?”,

“I want to feel seen and protected emotionally to give you, my body.”,

“Help me to be aroused and seen before I give you, my body.”,

“I want some of your quality time. Can I get some of your time soon?”

“I want to feel seen and loved and adored. Can we go on a date soon?”,

“I am scared that we are in the same cycle.”,

“I need repair and need things to be different in our relationship.”

These are just examples of different critical statements and actually what some of the need's underneath are. Criticism feels like an emotional punch. Criticism makes someone feel like they are doing something wrong. That type of language and statement usually also triggers in the hearers' mind, justify, or explain, or defend. If you ask someone why they are doing something the most appropriate response most of the time is to explain the why. Explaining the why will sound defensive or justifying. What if you didn’t want them to defend but you needed them to hear you? What if you didn’t want them to defend but needed them to do something? Most people that get punched usually get defensive quickly. No one wants to get hurt, and it is instinct to protect yourself. Then defensiveness comes into play. Defensiveness looks like this:

“No, you are the one always on your phone.”,

“What? You never help me do the dishes why should I help you?”,

“You don’t make aroused why would I try and make you?”,

“I just tried to help turn you on and you rejected me.”,

“I am the one that always plans the dates, I am the one that always initiates sex, what do you mean?”

“You are on your phone all the time too.”,

“So, I am not allowed to be on my phone now?”

None of these statements communicates the need. Let’s look at what healthier need statements could be:

“I just need to send this message that is lingering in my mind and then we can hang out again.”

“I don’t want to disappoint you.”,

“I don’t want to hurt your feelings, how can I help?”,

“I feel scared and undesirable and don’t know if you will accept me if I pursue you sexually again.”,

“I want you to take me on dates too.”,

“I really want to be acknowledged for the dates I have planned recently; I am proud of them.”

Contempt is nasty, it is below the belt. It is something you know your partner is sensitive about.  “You are just like your dad.” When you know they hate their dad. It has two main points to it, a mockery tone or you mock them. The other is a belittlement or condescending posture.

Stonewalling is when you are over a conversation, usually flooded or overwhelmed and you say things like, “uh huh.”, “You are always right.”, “Sure.”, “Whatever you say.”, “It doesn’t matter anyways.”, sometimes people will be really bold and grab their phone and just not say anything. People also try and walk away in that process at times too but that usually impacts fight or flight and more anxiety, so it usually turns bad quickly.

Whenever humans communicate in one of the four horseman there will I’ll always miscommunication. Ask yourself, what am I trying to say? What was my need there? What do I need? Try and help your partner understand your expectation or hope for what you want or need. The 4 pillars of miscommunication are assumptions, expectations, criticism, and defensiveness. I’ll go over those in another post. We need to always communicate our expectations or hopes for what we need for our partner. So, let’s look at a scenario.

Scenario: Couple is on a date and been together for the last four hours. Both have been attentive and giving each other laughter, good energy, and affection. The King now grabs his phone while they are just relaxing at dinner waiting for food to arrive. Queen immediately feels anxious, rejected, embarrassed (on a dinner date, doesn’t like the concept of being on their phones, which she has stated before) and lonely and says, “You are always on your phone. Can’t you just spend time with me alone.” Ouch. King now feels unseen, confused, shocked, defensive, annoyed, lonely. King now says, “Wow. Really? I am not able to check my phone for two seconds. You really are something else.” Shots fired! Shots fired! Arrows are coming out at each other and both people are now hurt.

What were they both trying to say?

I am going to assume based on the scenario for learning (there could be tons of different needs they both wanted in this moment that I don’t go over). Queen wanted his undivided attention still and felt it wasn’t an appropriate time to grab the phone. She wanted protection that it wasn’t someone else inappropriate he was texting or that she wasn’t gonna get hurt. She wanted to know she was significant still or mattered to him. King was bored and instinctually grabbed his phone like he does when he is bored (neural pathway). King wanted to check his phone because he needed to send a business/work text back. The conversation between them triggered a thought about one of his friends and wanted to tell him something from a previous conversation. None of the intentions behind the Kings behaviors was to intentionally hurt his partner. Remember that there is meta communication too in everything, which is the communication that is nonverbal but the body language, or posture, or tone, etc.

What did they both need? Support and love. Reassurance they both aren’t going to be judged by their behavior and get in trouble from their partner. No one wants to get in trouble by their partner who they love actually. Just like kids don’t want to get in trouble by their parents. When that happens, it is because they are human, and humans mess up. Humans are not perfect and have flaws. We all do. Do I need to go into attribution bias? In short, attribution bias is when you don’t think your stuff stinks. In your mind, you never do anything wrong only your partner. You forget that you have lied before and get mad at them and have this huge reaction when they lie to you. You forget that you grab your phone sometimes too or that you misspeak, or you miscommunicate and say the wrong thing. I hope you see the point there. We all mess up at times, we need more grace for each other and love not the sword!!

So, let’s look at healthy here for a second. Same scenario but a healthy need statement(s) from both of them. Remember what are you hoping for? What are you expecting? King grabs his phone:

Q: “I hope you will make it short, so I can have more of your time.”

K: “Would love to babe, I just need to send this for work really quick. 2 seconds…alright done.”

It would be that simple, no bad energy, no hurting each other, no pain. Remember you are committed to each other. You want to be together. When there is a negative cycle that you are in, both of you need to make conscious efforts to try and get out of the cycle. If one of you can have cognitive dissonance then the cycle will break, if both of you have dissonance you will get out of the pattern exponentially quicker. It is easy for one or both of you to stay in the cycle. The brain like the familiar, any attention is better than no attention. Maladaptive behavior feels just as good when you do it as adaptive behavior. Maladaptive behavior destroys love, connection, friendship, and relationship. Adaptive behavior builds love, friendship, hope, empowerment, and relationship.

We learn a lot of negative patterns when we are children, and we keep doing these same patterns as adults. Think about a child that wants candy and doesn’t know how to get it. Kid asks, parent says no. In the disappointment the child throws themselves on the floor and when the parent gives in and gives the kid the candy, the child now learned a maladaptive way to get the need met. The parent needs to teach the child a healthy way to get the candy. That is just a small example of maladaptive learned behavior in childhood. Let’s get back to the scenario. 

Q: “I feel anxious, I want to know I am safe.”

K: “Babe, you are my queen, the apple of my eye, you have nothing to worry about ever! Our conversation made me think of something I need to tell my dad really quick. Do you care if I tell him real fast, so I don’t forget.”

Q: “I feel embarrassed when we are out at dinner and you are on your phone, I would really hope that texts could wait until after dinner.”

K: “That makes perfect sense I will put my phone away. Sorry I didn’t mean to do that.”

Q: “I feel embarrassed when we are out at dinner and you are on your phone, I would really hope that texts could wait until after dinner.”

K: “Is it okay if I send this message really quick to my boss (or friend, or whoever) so I don’t forget?”

If either of them has a compromise that they need during that conversation it is healthy to try and find a middle ground. I will go over more of what that looks like in another post about compromise. Remember again, it is never healthy to let out your negative emotions out on your partner, your kids, or any other human.

Let’s look at the same scenario a little differently now.

Scenario: Couple is on a date and been together for the last four hours. Both have been attentive and giving each other laughter, good energy, and affection. The couple has some trauma in their relationship around trust. King says, “I think I might go to the gym later.” Queen says, “She is going to be there?” Yes, this is direct and to the point. When this is said, it doesn’t allow the King to see you. It doesn’t create empathy; it doesn’t give space for the person to hear you and hear what your need is. It feels emotionally like a punch, an attack. The King now feels negative and doesn’t know how to respond. It was completely out of the blew and not what they were talking about. Yes, the Queen is triggered and that is okay and if she needs reassurance that is great, but she needs to ask for that, not attack the King with her tongue. King feels anxious, scared, rejected, confused, timid, frozen not wanting to get in trouble. When we communicate a question, we want the other person to be able to see us. By using language that describes how you feel, you are allowing the other person to see you. Help the other person see your need, or feel your need, so they can help you to feel heard. The point of communicating a need, especially if you are anxious is to feel heard or get safety. 

So, what would healthy look like? 

K: “I think I might go to the gym later.”

Q: “I feel anxious that she will be there and that scares me.”

K: “I will not engage or talk with her even if she is there. You are my Queen and the most important person to me. You have nothing to worry about.” 

It is easier to give reassurance and hear your partner’s need when the communication allows me to hear you. 

Another example, 

K: “I think I might go to the gym later.” 

Q: “Can I have reassurance that you aren’t going there to see her.” 

K: “I will never hurt you again babe. You are the most important person to me. I just would like to go and get a workout in. I can send you a video or FT or anything if you need. I can promise that if she is there, I won't engage with her.” 

Miscommunication is one of the biggest reason’s couples deteriorate. People miscommunicate because there is this belief that we shouldn’t communicate what we want or hope for from our partner. People also don’t want to get rejected from their partner who might tell them “No” for what they want. This leads to never getting your needs met. With all the subconscious trauma that we have around how people communicate to us our whole lives this also impacts our ability to think we deserve to get our needs met. Most couples I have seen are not trying to miscommunicate, but they don’t know any other way of being. Stopping the pattern of the 4 horseman and trying to work on communicating more of what you expect and hope for should drastically decrease the miscommunication and should hopefully lead to more of your needs being met which will lead to more love, intimacy, connection, good energy and a lasting relationship. If we can learn to communicate more of our hopes and expectations and stop using the four horsemen when we communicate, I guarantee you will have a happier healthier relationship. You also will miscommunicate way less as an added bonus. 



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