This is something my wife and I have learned through counseling as well as just putting it to practice throughout our marriage. I always found it to be very helpful for us, so I figured I'd post it up.
There are, in general, 3 modes of communication.
- How was you day
- What do you want for dinner
- That movie was great, in the second scene they did blah blah blah
- My boss yelled at me over the dumbest thing today, can you believe that?!
- The other day my brother made me really mad, here is what he did...
- My husband is always trying to fix everything and doesn't just listen to me!
- Did you consider that your boss was not upset at you when he told you that?
- Maybe your husband wasn't feeling well at the time he did that?
Those 3 modes do not mix. Each person in the conversation must all be in the same mode to make the conversation remain relevant and smooth. The point at which communication breaks down between couples is when those 3 modes of communication are not established proactively.
For example, if your wife is venting, you the husband can not be in small talk mode and especially not problem solving mode. This causes frustration and makes the other people think that you are either not listening (you were probably in small talk mode while she was venting) or you were just "trying to fix everything" (you were probably in problem solving mode).
Some people are good about reading when a person in is each mode. Women are especially good at this. Women tend to think more emotionally and therefore can detect these modes. Men, however, usually need to be bluntly told what mode you're in. There are exceptions to that rule. However, regardless, it makes the most sense to proactively express which mode you're in verbally. Once that is expressed, the other person in the conversation should click into that mode. It can then be established when that mode has changed.
For instance; the wife is in "Venting" mode. Before she starts to vent or maybe shortly after she starts to vent, she should say "I'm venting now." At this point, the husband should simply listen. He should not try to solve the problems. Even if what his wife is saying is clearly and easily solvable! Put the resolution in the back of your head, write it down, whatever. It's the husbands time to listen and agree. That's all. As the wife vents, the husband should at times repeat what the wife says to show he's listening and that he understands and should also include honest, sympathetic reinforcements. For example: "What? I can't believe he said that to you. That's crazy!", "I bet that pissed you off! That would make me so mad too!"
The wife can continue to vent until she is cooled off. However, at some point, she should establish when she's ready for either small talk mode or problem solving mode. Some times, she may not be ready for problem solving mode yet and she should establish that. When she's done venting, she can say "I'm done venting. Let's talk about something else." For the husband, that does not mean it's time to give his opinion. It means it's *time to talk about something else *.
If the wife is ready for help or problem solving; she can say "So what do you think?" The wife should be ready for problem solving at this point. She has established she's done venting and is ready to solve the problem. The husband should at this point, go into problem solving mode and give his opinion or help on the situation. He should not change the subject or go into Small Talk mode. If he does, it's up to the wife to say "I'm in problem solving mode now. I want help."
Men need bluntness and specifics. While men can be emotional thinkers, it's not the default. It needs to be "turned on" sometimes. Particularly when they aren't in an emotional state at the time. It's up to the woman to set that state and it's up to the man to remain in that state.
Defining the modes and verbally stating which mode you're in can really help in communication. While it may seem odd at first, it can become sort of second nature if you try it for a while. Both partners should be very patient with each other when starting this practice because it takes time to settle into. For instance, I personally still default into problem solving mode when my wife has already told me that she is venting. She will often just tell me again "I'm still venting." I will check back in and try to remain in Venting mode with her.
It does require practice and cannot really be done every now and then, but must be done in mostly all conversations; particularly when one is venting. However, after a short time, it certainly becomes a part of every conversation and makes it a lot easier and causes far fewer arguments.
I've taken a lot of time off from working out lately... I have done the occasional day of weights, but that was few and far between with the most consistent time being once per week. Ever since I had my shoulder surgery, it has just been hard to get back into it after 8 months of not doing it. That was 2 years ago! So, other than kayaking and mountain biking and the occasional day on the heavy bag, I haven't done much. I've gained weight too. I'm not at 182 lbs. I've never weighed this much, however, I have been fatter before. I do have more muscle than I did when I used to weigh around 178 lbs in my mid 20's. Nevertheless, I still feel gross and out of shape.
My diet sucks too. However, I have never had a perfectly clean diet. I enjoy ice cream and french fries! That's my guilty pleasures, as well as various candy. Other than that though, my diet is pretty decent. I don't eat much fast food. I try to eat mostly whole foods (besides french fries... )
Anyway, It's time to get back to it all. I've taken enough time off from consistently working out. I'll be going back to a 3 day a week weight routine. On my "off" days, I'll be mountain biking, kayaking or playing tennis. I'll throw some heavy bag training in there on occasions. I want to do a Friday, Sunday, Tuesday routine because I work from home on Friday's and can make a quick trip into my garage to workout. Sunday's I'm usually at home too. Tuesday's aren't that busy for me, so it's the only other option.
So today I started back with a leg workout.
- Body weight squats for a warmup - 2 sets x 20 reps
- Barbell squats - Barx5, 95x5, 105x5, 115x5, 125x5, 135x5
- Stiff-leg Deadlifts - 95x5, 135x8, 135x8
- Calve raises - 40x15, 40x15
- Crunches with heavy bag - 2 x 15
- Planks - 2 x 1 min
Not a very intense routine, but a good start back. I haven't done barbell squats in forever since I dislocated my shoulder doing them many years ago. I've decided to give them another try. I did fairly well with them. Especially considering when I did them with just 95 lbs that one time I dislocated my shoulder. However, the entire thing still felt scary. I took it slow and easy.
Tuesday will be some shoulder and arm work. I do a lot of rehabilitation shoulder work, so I tend to put these on a day of their own right now and add biceps and triceps along with them. Friday will be back and chest. I also plan on going for at least 1 bike ride this week, probably Thursday. I also intend on playing tennis at least once this week as well.
I was having a lot of trouble with NetworkManager not saving my VPN group and user passwords. I'm guessing this is a bug and I did see some references to launchpad bugs while doing my googling to find a solution. However, it took me a while to figure it out. It requires a little editing of the system-connection files.
If you look in
/etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/, you will see your connection files. Open one of them and change a few of the settings. The two settings I had to change/add were:
ipSec-secret-type=save # This wasn't in the file
IPSec secret-flags=0 # This was set to 1 originally
# This entire section didn't exist, I had to add it
There are other things in the file, but I didn't have to change those. It's very Odd that nm-applet can't seem to figure this out. Quite a bug. Anyway, here is my entire file for reference:
NAT Traversal Mode=natt
IKE DH Group=dh2
So, after a little over a month with my Android phone and tablet, I can confidently say that Android wins in the phone market... Unless you're a timid user, then the iPhone wins due to sheer usability. However, the Android is way more configurable and fun to use, but it lacks polish in a lot of areas and inconsistencies throughout the interface would make it a task for unsure users.
However, on the tablet market, iPad still owns, IMO. For one main reason... Media. Android and Android developers just can't seem to get it right. Browsing through movies, TV Shows and other Media on the iPad is awesome with cover art, complete ID3 tags and everything working as it should. On the Android device, it's a chore and an ugly one at that.
Open most Video players and you have a jumbled mess of videos in no specific order. Some of them don't even provide a thumbnail of the video. I want my TV shows and my movies separated into sections and my TV Shows separated by seasons and ordered. I also want my ID3 tags displayed and any cover art I added to them if it's an m4v file. I simply can not find any app on the Android market that does this.
MX Media Player comes very close by honoring your folder separation in its interface. For instance, I can put my Movies in a Movies folder and my TV Shows in a TV Shows folder and then those in their appropriate Season folders and such. Then MX Media Player will keep the videos organized as long as you've named the file starting with a number. It also provides a thumbnail of the video, but no cover art or ID3 tags are used.
I can't connect to an external share and stream movies from it in MX Media Player, which sucks too because I have a media server at home that has a few smb shares that I can stream from my iPad. I can open ES File Manager and connect to the share and then sort through those videos in an ugly interface with no thumbnails or cover art and then click on the movie and then be prompted on how I want to open it (as an image, really? It's a movie!) and then be prompted on what I want to open it with (Yeah, I know I can save a default, but still...) This is a lousy user experience.
On the iPad, all ID3 tags are displayed. Cover art is displayed. All movies are in a nice grid. All TV Shows are separated by Show, Season and Episodes along with info on which shows I have already watched. I can stream from my media server and browse it in the same way as if it were natively on the device. This is an awesome experience for media and what I would expect.
Maybe I'm missing the killer App on Android for media that makes it a much better user experience. If anyone knows of one, let me know and I"ll give it a shot. However, on the tablet, Media is huge for me. Watching Movies, TV Shows and Netflix is what I primarily do on there, other than using the Kindle software for reading.
If anyone knows of a better App on the android market for this, please let me know. I'm considering getting into writing Android apps just for this specific case. I'm sure writing Android Apps has to be better than writing iOS apps. I just can't stand Obj-C... I hate it more than Java.
So, lately I have been using Ubuntu 11.10 inside of Parallels on my Mac. I have really enjoyed using Gnome 3. It is a vast improvement over the Gnome 2. The reason I left Linux and started using a Mac was specifically the desktop experience. I loved Linux up until around the year 2007 and I started using a Mac then because I realized the desktop wasn't going anywhere. Gnome was stuck in the 1990's and KDE is just simply an odd experience, not very intuitive and kind of reminds me of a bubble gum pop star, but without the sex appeal.
So, fast forward to today and now I find Gnome to be completely usable. I love the Activities pane. I love how it manages virtual desktops. I love the "dock" and how it only shows up in Activities mode. I love the quick search Gnome-Do like application finder. I love the notifications and how well some apps like Empathy uses it. I'm pretty happy so far... I'm going to run it in Parallels for a while at home and at work and if I find myself happy enough, I may switch back to Ubuntu full time... although, not on the MacBook Air. It's kind of a miserable experience installing it natively on one...
Anyway, I ran into an issue with gnome-terminal that I thought I could share. I don't like having the menubar show up with each new terminal that is open. So, I turned it off in the settings. However, for some reason this didn't work. Even though I unchecked "Show menubar by default in new terminals", it kept showing up.
Well, I ran across a bug on launchpad for it and a suggestion was made to remove the appmenu packages and this would fix the issue. Well, it did for me. All I did was
sudo apt-get --purge autoremove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3
Then I logged out and back into Gnome and booya, no more menubar in gnome-terminal. I hope this helps someone... or possibly myself in the future.