Experiential Problems

April 18, 2011

in Communication, Series

Communication Problems © Michael Brown | Dreamstime.com

Ever seen a couple carrying out a conversation that seems to skip significant parts of the dialogue? Because of years of experience with each other, they know each other so well they don’t have to hit every point to communicate. But what if they don’t know each other as well as they think? What if some of the assumptions are a bit off, or were true at one time, but have changed? Then the conversation is going to have problems. If they don’t catch on that they have lost track, they will miscommunicate, confuse each other, get in a fight, get frustrated, and so on.

This is an example of an experiential problem – a problem that is the result of incorrect or outdated experiential beliefs/assumptions about another person. I see a lot experiential problems in couples, so this week I’m going to do a series on this issue.

As a starting place, when you talk with your bride, try to be aware of any assumptions you make about what she is thinking or is about to say. Slow down a bit and look for any sign that you have missed it. Even better, let her speak, or ask her to clarify your experience based assumptions.

Image Credit: © Michael Brown | Dreamstime.com



  1. […] Experiential Problems – The first in a week long series Paul is doing on how our experience with our spouse can make us approach the relationship with assumptions which may or may not still be true.  The other posts are: Experiential Defensiveness, Experiential Impatience, Experiential Limits, and Experiential Starting Place. […]

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