Q: I get so frustrated because my husband is always interrupting me when I want to talk with him about important matters. He will state his view or his solution to the problem or point out where I am wrong. He just doesn't listen to me. Is there anything that can help?

A: Pages could be filled with the different ideas and techniques for communication, however, one simple idea specific for your problem is the "Talking Stick." This springs from an ancient Indian tradition where tribal leaders used a talking stick to solve problems. If any of the Elders had a problem or dispute facing the tribe he would call a counsel. When the counsel gathered, he was given the stick, which meant only he could speak and all others would listen. He could speak until he felt he had fully explained the matter and said what he wanted to say. When he was done, he would put the stick forward and other Elders could ask for it. He would pass it to another at which time that Elder would be able to speak as long as he felt was necessary to express his point of view and all others would listen.

This would continue until all had the chance to be heard, then eventually the Elders would begin using the Talking Stick to present ideas for solutions. It might be fun to tell this story to your husband and suggest that as a couple you try this in your relationship. Pick an item to represent a talking stick. It could be anything, I heard one couple using a piece of floor tile to represent that they had the floor at that moment. Agree that when a person has a problem or item of discussion they can call a counsel. The person calling the counsel gets the stick and can explain the issue for as long as they need while the other does absolutely no talking, just listens. When that person is done, they pass the stick and the other now can talk without interruptions. This may not work in every situation, but it can be a fun way of dealing with interrupting. For more ideas on handling interrupting or communication in general, feel free to call me or come in.

home | services | providers | forms | events | articles | insurance | ask | links | contact us

Phone: (208) 922-9001