We’ve all been there…
Someone starts talking, and though we may look like we’re listening, a dozen things are going through our heads, preventing us from truly listening. This can be especially true if the other person said something that sparked an emotion. Effective conversations require us to use clear, concise communication AND be present. Whether you feel the conversation is good or bad, having the inner commentator in our heads distracting us is no good.
(Watch just how off-the-wall you inner commentator can be in this video!)
So, what is the inner commentator?
Everyone has an inner commentator. Also referred to as our inner critic, the inner commentator is simply the voice in our head that distracts us from being present. As the video demonstrates, it can be an internal battle on how to react to someone. Perhaps you’re preparing your response so it comes out just right…which might not make sense if you didn’t hear everything the other person said. No matter what your inner commentator is saying, it is distracting!
The bad news about our inner commentator.
Unfortunately, our inner commentator works 24/7, 7 days a week. It’s constantly chattering in your head, telling you what to think, how to feel, and sometimes to cast judgment on others.
The good news about our inner commentator.
Here’s the good news: we can train our inner commentator to quiet down and allow us to be present. The easiest way to do this is to Try Curiosity. Trying Curiosity means we are consciously choosing to be in inquiry about the other person’s Story. It is a state of being through which we approach our entire conversation.
How do we Try Curiosity?
The easiest way to get into a curious mindset is to use a Mental Pattern interruption by asking, “Why?”
“If I were in their shoes, why might I act that way?”
If you approach the whole conversation from that viewpoint, you’ll actually want to hear the answer. Even your inner commentator will be curious to know the answer!
What if that doesn’t work?
Sometimes it’s really difficult to getting into curiosity. Luckily, there are a lot of other ways to Try Curiosity and quiet your inner commentator. It’s too much information to stuff into a blog, which is why we created our very own Strengths-based communication course, Conversation Mechanics: How to Talk About It! We give you all the tools you need to have effective conversations, including being present and telling that pesky inner commentator to hush.
Click here for more information, and to register. Don’t let your inner commentator sabotage your conversations anymore!LEARN HOW TO TALK ABOUT IT