We all hear through filters.
For instance, we can’t hear if we’re feeling blamed, or attacked because we’re too upset.
When our emotional brain gets flooded with emotion, the thinking brain gets put on hold. Then our partner wouldn’t be able to hear because the part of the brain that processes information is locked on hold.
This happens so quickly (it only takes a hundredth of a second for the emotional part of our brain to become flooded), it’s virtually instantaneous. The emotional brain hears an attack which the thinking brain would never agree is happening but there’s not time for the thinking brain to think, the reaction has happened.
When we understand this, we realise that we don’t want to be attacking our partner because then they simply won’t be able to understand us.
We simply need to first hear the other person. That may be counter intuitive but it’s soothing to the emotional brain to feel heard and it keeps the foolish misinterpretations away.
It’s just the way our brains work and we have to get our own heads around this before we can move forward and start to have conversations in which we hear our partner and get to feel heard too.
Unfortunately it really does need to take place in that order.