Return To Sender
You guessed it-the root cause of a heated argument is poor communication. Instead of sender to receiver it becomes sender to sender.
I have coached many singles and married couples and I found the root cause of heated arguments. In every case so far, can you guess what it is? That’s right-having poor communication skills.
Enter the song by Elvis, “Return to Sender.”
Return to sender, address unkown,
No such person, no such zone.
Normally, in communication, there is a sender and a receiver.
However, in an argument, (and I have been guilty of this one too), when one person is sending information and is on the strong defense and the other person gets activated and becomes defensive as well, it doesn’t work that well, to say the least. No kidding.
It’s sender to sender rather than sender to receiver. That creates a lot of deflection and resistance and then it really can go south because there cannot be two senders.
Let me describe the role of the sender. That is the person who has the unmet needs and takes full ownership of the issue at hand. It’s all about them.
The receiver is the person who knows it’s not about them and just listens and mirrors back what the sender said. That’s part of acknowledgment. The receiver also remains curious and asks questions like, “Can you tell me more about that?” (This is adapted from Relationship Coaching Institute.)
Notice how it’s hard to be upset and yet be curiously engaged in another’s world at the same time? You are either upset or you can be sincerely and openly curious. (A good receiver will not be sending anything back at all-just the reflection of the sender.) As a coach, this is simple to teach-it’s called the Communication Map. At the same time, it may take time for a couple to implement this skill set.
When communication between a couple is so fine-tuned that both partners slow down, really listen and honor each other, that’s true love.