Listen beneath the words.


Bob and Amy have been married for five years.


He had to go into the office early and was required to stay late, it’s been a long day.


On the drive home, Bob is trying to clear his mind of work clutter, because he is ready to get home and feel the comfort of his family.


Upon his arrival, Amy meets him with the statement, “you are late!”


He immediately flares back, “I've been working all day, and this is the way I get greeted?”

She retorts “Well, why didn't you call?”


He knows that this is escalating but he takes the bait anyway and an argument ensues.


Both wanted a pleasant evening, but now emotions have escalated and that's not possible.


The evening ends with neither feeling appreciated nor that their feelings matter at all.


What a common situation.


If you listen intently beneath the words, you hear an entirely different message.


Hearing the words, you are late, can be translated into I was missing you. I was worried that something could have happened to you. I wanted to feel your presence.


Can you now hear the compliment beneath the words?


“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” —Peter Drucker

She wanted to see him, she was missing him, and concerned about him which is positive and complimentary.


She did not say any of that though and he surely did not hear it.


If Amy had recognized her heightened emotions, she could have talked about herself instead of him.


She could have said, “I was concerned about you, I was missing you, and wanted to see you and hear your voice.” Their connection could have turned out very differently.


It would have been easier for him to listen beneath the words if he hadn't been overly emotional about his difficult day and possibly other things that were threatening to him and taking up his attention.


If he could have heard that she was missing him, was excited to see him, or wanted to feel his presence or if she could have said those words about herself, the evening could have turned out the way they both wanted.


Listening beneath the words, looking for compliments in disguise, takes a great sense of self-control and humility.

Talking about yourself when your emotions are high can produce a highly effective result.


You can do it and the results are amazing!


Look for the blind spots.



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Blind Spots in Relationships

What I don't know I don't know about myself


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