Communication-Skills Tutorial for Vets

 

Incompletes:

 

One barrier to achieving and maintaining the experience of success, happiness, health, and love is the accumulation of life's unsatisfying interactions (verbal, non-verbal, physical, and psychic communications). Communication coaches refer to these incidents as incompletes—communications you started (caused to be started) and have not completed through to mutual satisfaction. 

 

An incomplete can be an unacknowledged withhold, a perpetration, an acknowledgment, or any unresolved breakdown in communication.

 

The word unacknowledged refers to an incomplete that you have hidden from yourself or another, one that you have not acknowledged to anyone. Telling a friend, "My wife divorced me" is not an acknowledgment because it's an irresponsible blame statement. "Using my leadership-communication skills I set it up for her to initiate the divorce" would be a responsible acknowledgment. Use Reunion Conversations to locate/recall unacknowledged perpetrations/incompletes.

The word experienced is used to remind you that often in the middle of an upset one doesn't have a choice to not be upset, they have in fact gone unconscious, their mind has taken over; they are not experiencing the moment, they are not awake, not in the now (present-time). A conscious person doesn't choose to be upset or to abuse (damage) another with a communication.

 

When an incomplete is recalled (remembered), experienced, and communicated responsibly (from how you caused it) the incomplete no longer gets in the way of present-day conversations and outcomes.

 

Life's less than satisfying conversations keep generating more of the same results in similar present-day situations because there is an unacknowledged lie having to do with one's memory of the first time it happened. The mind is not remembering a specific incident, a failed communication, its cause for an abusive interaction, accurately. The lie continues to have undesirable consequences.

 

Examples of Incompletes:

 

1) If your platoon leader told you to clean your weapon and you know you did a half-assed job then that interaction (even though it appears you got away with it) is stored in your mind as an incomplete; it's a perpetration for which you have not been acknowledged. It, and all the other unacknowledged sneaky deceits, cons, lies, and abuses you've perpetrated occupy space in the back of your mind serving as a barrier to the experience of clarity, of being in-integrity (of deserving to have life & relationships work).

2) Perhaps you shunned someone in school. Your memory of the incident might be considerably different; it's especially significant if you don't even remember abusing another. In any case, it had a powerful long-lasting effect. It's quite possible that the classmate has yet to recover from the experience of how you communicated with him/her. What's not so easy to see is that your unconscious abuse has had an effect on you as well, without you even being aware of it.

3) Possibly when you were young your father yelled at you and it didn't feel good. He didn't acknowledged later, or to this very day, that he knew it was abusive. That specific incident remains an incomplete and affects his and your present-day communications, therefore, both yours and his results.

 

A good test to see if you are dragging around a childhood incomplete is to notice if you are verbally or non-verbally abusing a loved one and, you're not verbally acknowledging each and every abuse to him/her. You seem to have no choice, even your humor is sometimes automatically abusively condescending, sexist, or "slightly" racist.

 

Because your mind might not want to acknowledge that it's addicted to abusing/being abused ask your partner: "When was the last time a communication of mine didn't feel good to you, one that I didn't verbally acknowledge the abuse?"

 

The way to disappear automatic knee-jerk abuse is to verbally acknowledge each instance every time.  i.e. "I get that my yelling at you didn't feel good." or, "That didn't feel good." Notice that an acknowledgment does not include an apology, reasons, excuses, or blaming; it's simply an acknowledgment. Most importantly, give your partner permission to let you know when a communication doesn't feel good.

 

Last edited 10/27/17

 

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