One of these things is not like the other!


Flickr / bazylek100

Consider 2 words…Discussion and Dialogue

Most of us think these two words have similar meanings. In fact, this could not be further from the truth.

Dialogue comes from the Greek word dialogus which loosely translates to “the meaning” and “through”, which could be understood as the meaning through… Think about this, the “meaning through”…listening…understanding…even loving.

Discussion comes from the same root as percussion and concussion which means to break things up, to throw things and to shatter. Hmmmmm – Interesting isn’t it?

When we ask our partner for a dialogue we are inviting them to engage in a process of understanding and sharing with them. It is meant to be a time when we actually cross over to each other’s world to reach a new understanding through creating a new meaning. Cool!

Discussion is quite different…. When we enter into a discussion we are in a ping-pong match of back and forth trying to win. We employ the “reload and shoot” technique, desperate to be right and upping the ante at every turn.

Flickr / shadowgate

I recently was working with a couple who reported they had a terrible week.

“What happened?” I asked.

They told me they fought all week and hadn’t spoken for 3 days.

“That sounds awful,” I said. “Did you ask for a dialogue, did you try to mirror each other?”

“No” they said. “We talked about it but we thought it would take too long. So we just started to discuss the issue. Then we started to fight and then we kept arguing until finally we stopped talking.”

At this point, we all laughed at the ridiculousness of what they did. But, we’ve all done it and we will all do it!  We need to be right. To win. To convince and discuss. Even if it doesn’t work, we still do it!

Lots of times we would rather be right than be in a relationship!

Here’s a ditty I just came up with:

Have a fight,
Have a dialogue,
Show your might,
And why you’re right.

Know you’re not and make yourself stop.
If you do I promise you, life will rock and maybe even feel hot.
In fact you’ll stop feeling numb and maybe even get some…. tonight!

Dare ya –

Write a love poem to your love that’s better than mine! Ok, some dares are harder than others!!


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2 Responses to “One of these things is not like the other!”

  1. JL Says:

    That’s funny! Thanks, I will get my pencil out and give it a try!

  2. Cheryl Says:

    Thanks for the great blog. A reminder to do what works. Amazing how illusive that concept can be.

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