“The Three Y’s” Make Happy Marriage Communication

The Three Y’s: Yes ~ You ~ You’re

Y – YES, you have my attention. (LISTEN)

Y – YOU think ____? Yes? (MIRROR & CHECK)

Y – YOU’RE wanting _____. Yes? (UNDERSTAND & CHECK)

COMMUNICATION: When people call me for Marriage Counseling, they usually really want to be married to each other but something needs to be improved. It most often begins with the beginning of relationships: being friends. Friends share and that means communication.

PAYING FULL ATTENTION: One of the most direct methods I invented to help get past filters is what I call The Three “Y’s” – it’s a way to make sure we not only listen to our mate but we give him or her the experience of being completely heard. And when someone pays full attention, we feel loved and respected…if not treasured.

The Three "Y's"

The Three “Y’s”

Yes, I hear you. Yes, I see. Yes, I’m listening. Yes? Yes, you have my full attention. Yes, I want to know.

You think that _______ . OK, I think I get it. Is this right? I want to understand you; your thinking is _______ . I want to understand where you’re coming from. I’m interested in you. I’m interested in knowing what you are thinking. Did I hear you correctly?

You’re wanting this? I want to validate you; I respect your feelings and your viewpoint. I want to agree with you. I want to be on your side. I am willing to know and respect your views because I respect you. I can see your way of thinking and that makes sense to me. How can I partner with you? How can we get what you want?

AGREEMENT ISN’T A PART OF LISTENING: I may not agree with some or with all of your views, but I’m fine with that difference. AND, there is probably more here for me to learn about the person I care about and love. AND, If I were you, I’d likely think that way, too. AND, if it is important to me that I am, also, heard, we will do that separately from this conversation.

CONVERSATION: With this much connection and mutual understanding, we can open the doorway to conversation rather than “telling.” With this form of paying full attention, we can logically expect the other person to be willing to see our viewpoint, too.

LISTENING: In my marriage counseling private practice I often mentor a couple in various skills for communication. The first, and, I believe, the most important skill is this one which is a part of being able to listen with full attention.  I will facilitate a couple in their session to experience this method and the success of connecting with honesty and goodwill. I ask them for an example of a topic they find difficult. It may be something that is so sensitive that they can’t yet talk about it without arguing, raising their voices or being defensive. We slow way down and focus on each step of the way.

NO INTERRUPTIONS: Taking turns. And not moving on until there is full understanding on the part of the Listener. This may require some time and patience but it often reveals new information and more possibilities. The Speaker almost always experiences a new level of respect or love from the Listener. Something has changed. This invites innovation and partnership.

DIALOGUE…NOT TELLING: Then, you can have a conversation where both people fully participate rather than having two monologues of telling, you can experience “dialogue.”

You can find my one-hour talk about The Three “Y’s” on my You Tube Channel if you want more details for yourself.

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