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Gibberish Tip #2: Communicating with the Uncommunicative

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

How do you respond to gibberish? Here are tools you can use today taken from real experiences.




Have you ever been told, “You are so hard to communicate with?

This is one common criticism women in abuse hear.


Women then try with futile success to:

· accommodate specific partner requests.

· educate themselves with better communication skills.

· intentionally changed their words, mannerisms, tones, and speech patterns.


Basically, they become a different person and lose themselves in hopes to “communicate better” with their partners.


And yet, more often than not, when I ask them, “How many other people tell you that you do not communicate well?” They pause as a wave of clarity engulfs them.


Oh, it isn’t me. IT IS HIM.”


No one else tells them they can’t communicate.


Friends, you cannot communicate with crazy. You just can’t. You cannot make someone who is intentionally harming you, “get it”- whatever “it” is. Because every time you do “better” with your imperfect communication, the rules will change.


It is critical that you understand this message:


It isn’t you. You are not crazy.


My goals with the “Gibberish” blogs are to load you up with real life examples and tools to use when you must interact with your abuser.


First:

NEVER EVER, if at all possible, hold a verbal conversation with him without a witness present.


If you must chat, follow up the conversation with a text, email, or court ordered communication (like Our Family Wizard) echoing your discussion.



I know, this is easier said than done, because you want to believe behind the face of your husband or partner, there is a “normal” person who wants the best for you.


What could possibly go wrong with a brief conversation?


So, so much.


Second:

When faced with a need to communicate with your partner, ask yourself,

What is the goal of my conversation?


Write down what you are trying to achieve.

It will help you stay on target and not get distracted with unrelated lobs.



Third:

Be kind to yourself. This is not your fault. You have done all you can to survive.

Accept the truth of your seemingly impossible situation.



Given these points, let's look at a real life situation which reflects perfectly why it is so important to communicate in writing whenever possible.

 

Below is an actual email situation with a client and her abuser.


First, see how my client wanted to respond to her partner.

Second, see how she actually responded.


(Actual names, locations and dates have been changed to protect the client).


 

Tanya (What she wanted to say to express her frustration):

In May, you asked about a weekend in Dec you wanted to exchange. You haven’t responded to my request. It is now August. Why is this so complicated? Could you just please give me an answer to the Dec 1 weekend exchange??? And respond to the weekend of Nov 24 I offered to give you instead?


Brad:

Nov 24th doesn't work now. Since you rejected that request the first time I offered it, I made other commitments that weekend.


Tanya (What she wanted to say to express her frustration):

That is because I was busy the other 2 options you gave me. Sorry, I have a life too. And I actually didn’t reject it, you just didn’t like the other options I offered. So, do you or don’t you need the swap?


Brad:

I do need the swap. I've submitted multiple requests, none of which you approved.


Tanya (What she wanted to say to express her frustration):

As I already said, I have a life too. So, how about Dec 14. Does that weekend work for you to exchange?


Brad:

Thanks but unless all the kids can travel with me, we're out of the area for a family event.


Tanya (What she wanted to say to express her frustration):

Interesting you have the money to travel but can’t reimburse me all the extra fees you need to pay me back for this year. I don’t understand. So, again, does the weekend of Dec 14 work or not?


Brad:

Umm ... okay. No, not a good weekend unless all the kids are available to travel. If they are, Dec 14th works. Not sure how to make that any plainer.


Tanya (What she wanted to say to express her frustration):

Great. I’m sure they will have a wonderful time joining your new family on a trip.


Brad:

I have given you multiple dates that you rejected that works in our schedule. This date does not. I cannot comply with your demand.


Tanya (What she wanted to say to express her frustration):

Umm… what are you talking about? I did not make a DEMAND. You just said you could take them and now you are claiming I am demanding something from you? Are you ok? Did you read your own response? I will repost below for a memory jogger. Your message: "Umm ... okay. No, not a good weekend unless all the kids are available to travel. If they are, Dec 14th works. Not sure how to make that any plainer." So, if that weekend now doesn’t work, what do you suggest we do?



 

Here is how the actual communication unfolded:


Tanya:

I will assume since you have not responded to this email 2 weeks ago, you do not need this swap anymore. Tanya Trade swap Dec 1 Message: Please note: I responded to your 3rd request of wanting to exchange Dec 1 weekend. You requested to take Dec 7, I countered with the weekend of Nov 24. However, it is not showing on the schedule.” Brad:

The 24th doesn't work now. Since you rejected that request the first time I offered it, I made other commitments that weekend.


Tanya:

So, you aren't traveling on Dec 1 and do not need to swap?


Brad:

I do need the swap. I've submitted multiple requests, none of which you approved.


Tanya:

I can do Dec 14.


Brad:

Thanks but unless all the kids can travel with me, we're out of the area for a family event.


Tanya:

Your response makes no sense. Does Dec 14 work for a swap?


Brad:

Umm ... okay. No, not a good weekend unless all the kids are available to travel. If they are, Dec 14th works. Not sure how to make that any plainer.


Tanya:

I'm not sure why they wouldn't be able to travel with you. Please submit your request. I thought you were referring to your Dec 1 weekend in which you stated you would also be out of town. Brad:

I have given you multiple dates that you rejected that works in our schedule. This date does not. I cannot comply with your demand.

Tanya:

Previously, you said Dec 14 weekend worked for you. You aren't making sense. Your previous message: “Umm ... okay. No, not a good weekend unless all the kids are available to travel. If they are, Dec 14th works. Not sure how to make that any plainer." I have no other weekends that work in my schedule and you appear to be pretty booked too. What do you recommend?

 

In summary, short and sweet. To the point. No catty responses. However, I have had ladies enjoy writing out what they REALLY, REALLY want to say and then delete it. Venting your truth is fine as long as you don’t hit “send”!


In contrast to Gibberish Tip #1, she is responding to feeling frustrated instead of feeling defensive. Both are tools abusers use to pull you in hoping to make you play their game.



Step out and away emotionally. Ask a friend to read your responses if needed.


For more support, join my groups or sign up for personal coaching sessions.







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