By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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Last time I wrote about observing couples' communication through tone and body language. I want to clarify that we can not assume what is going on from what we see.
She could be using the tone because she believes she can't get his attention any other way by this time. She could use the tone because that's how her parents communicated. She could be using the tone because she has a hearing problem. She could be using the tone because she is exasperated with him . . . or . . . ?
He could be throwing up in his hands in defeat. He could be throwing up his hands to say, "Enough!" He could be throwing up his hands to wrest control or power in the conversation. He could be throwing up his hands because that's how his parents communicated.
We can't look from the outside and know what is going on, or what their story is.
What we can do is continue to obverse our own tone and body language; when we're out in public, and once we get home.
Ask yourself: Is this how I want to treat my beloved? If so, do more of it. If not, devise experiments and try a calmer or different tone, quieter or greater body language.
See/notice/hear how it goes.