The Fifth Tool

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Continuing with the 10 Tools and Power Tools for Bringing Back Your Sexy After Cancer:

#5. Reflective Listening

Whenever you talk with your sweetheart about intimacy and sexuality, or any subject that could trigger either of you in some way, use a tool called Reflective Listening. It’s also called Intentional Dialog. It’s another structure to add to your conversations, a way to honor each other and yourself, and to encourage not only listening, but really hearing what’s being said.

As with the other agreements, make an agreement that you will both use this. In a nutshell, it’s about reflecting back the thoughts and feelings that you think your partner is expressing.

Here’s how it works: the person who is speaking says a few sentences to convey an idea. Then they pause and the one listening says what they heard and how they think their partner is feeling. Then they ask if they got it, and if not, the speaker adds more to clarify. Keep going with it until the one speaking says something like, “Yes, that’s it. You got it. Thanks.”

Once that happens, the other responds to what’s being said, sharing their own thoughts and feelings. The other person listens and reflects back what they hear along with what they think their partner is feeling.

The dialog continues until both of you feel heard, understood and in agreement about where to go from here. This may sound cumbersome. Once you try it and begin to do it, it’s actually a much more effective way to communicate and come to agreements.

For example, you might have a conversation about any concerns you have about intercourse, now that your body is changed by your treatments. If you use the agreements from Tool #4 and Intentional Dialog, you’ll be able to navigate the subject more easily, stay in love with each other, and make some decisions about next steps.

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advise of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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