Conversation and Moments of Connection

by Bea and Jim Strickland
 

Bea and Jim Strickland will present a workshop titled
Have a Great Conversation!  at the Better Marriages Conference
July 11-14, 2013 in Raleigh, NC
 

How delightful when your spouse listens intently to your story
about a childhood event! Isn’t it wonderful when you watch a sunset
together and share that elation? A loving meeting of your minds.
 

The power of a relationship is felt in those moments of warmth and positive
conversation with your spouse. When we feel safe, close and connected, even for just
a few minutes, it gives us a strong surge of happiness and well being. “Sweetheart, I
love talking to you!”
 

In a long term relationship, if we have a shared experience of heartfelt communication
and absorption in the conversation, we uplift ourselves and heighten our well-being. It’s
a positive resonance. Positive rapport. We strengthen our love. “Dearest, you’re my
best friend.”
 

The attention we give and get, rewards each of us with renewed energy and joy. We
can have valuable times of shared emotion in many ways: by being sympathetic to a
setback, understanding how much a special experience meant, laughing together,
finding common ground in solving a problem, being interested and enthusiastic about
your spouse’s joy and success. “Wow, honey, you must have felt wonderful!”
 

Barbara Fredrickson has written the books, Positivity, and Love 2.0, and has tested her
ideas of connection. Couples are videotaped, while in a close conversation, physically
mirroring each other’s posture, expressions and gestures as people do when they like
each other and are connecting.
 

In the lab, the response of mirror neurons can be measured as well. Research using
measurements of heart rate and vagal nerve response, shows that both hearts beat
stronger with more oxygen intake when couples are in close conversation.
 

There seem to be long term benefits to our physical health. It’s estimated that health
and immune response are improved with continued positive interactions with others.
The shared positive feelings with others differ from the good feelings we have by
ourselves.
 

Begin to notice the effects of a friendly, loving, positive connection. Be eager to make it
happen by paying attention to your spouse’s attempts to talk to you. It’s not a trivial
thing. It’s important to well-being for you both.
 

Respond with Active Listening–paraphrasing key points to show that you understand,
questions, comments of agreement and harmony. Say “yes” and don’t correct, teach,
criticize, lecture or counter their views. Find out more about their opinion and why they
think the way they do.
 

It’s love in action. It could be just a micro-moment. No moment is too short to treasure.
 
 

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