I hear you

How a challenge became a gift.

This morning, my husband, Jan Albert, and I had a moment of disconnection and it led to a most wonderful insight…

The background… we will soon have two house-cows with full udders, wanting to be milked. Over the last few days we have been talking about sharing this task of hand-milking around 20 litres of milk from two cows and whether we invite support for this. I had expressed that I was maybe keen to do more milking but that I would take a bit more time to get clarity.

Over our ritualistic, early-morning espresso coffee (with 92% chocolate) I shared that I was having second thoughts about taking on more milking. I had realised that more milk also means more cheese-making <duh> and that it might be a bit much. Jan Albert said ‘I hear you, but I think…’ and he shared some strategies of how it could still work.

That conversation didn’t go well! Bang… I got so annoyed and we ended up deciding to leave it for a bit and talk more at another time.

Then I went for a run and I had this epiphany…

When I heard Jan Albert say: ‘I hear you’ but I didn’t actually experience ‘being heard’ it really stimulated something in me. I was surprised and puzzled at how quickly I got annoyed. In hindsight that was the trigger: his words didn’t match my experience!

In the future, when I am about to say ‘I hear you…’ I want to bite my tongue, take a pause and rephrase it: ‘do you have a sense that you’ve been heard’? If the answer is ‘no’, I would like to make some empathic guesses (feelings and/or needs). And once the other person has experienced ‘being heard’, I can choose to respond with my insights.

3 thoughts on “I hear you

  1. For quite a long time I have realised that ‘I hear you’ is a short-cut for me, it could easily mean I haven’t really heard the other at all. If I haven’t made the effort to at least reflect what the other is saying, preferably translated it in my own words, chances of really connecting are not good!
    So I love this reminder, Irma!
    And what about other milkers enjoying that lovely milk? (just to throw in a strategy).
    So now the three of us can come to that conversation together!


  2. Good Morning Irma what a treat to be receiving your communications. I love the fomate and graphic expressive photos. Your, I hear you, comments are spot on for me. Joanne my wife has short term memory challenges and sever hearing loss. Your insight of asking “have you been heard” should help us a great deal in our efforts to remain lovingly connected as we meet our completion of life challenges. Thanks for still being in our lives. Love Chris


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