Human beings, being social beings, are bound to enter into relationships with aim of benefiting from such relationships in one way or another. However, most of the times, the relationships we humans enter do not last as long as we may want them to. Studies show that most relationship breakups are to be blamed on poor communication. It is either one feels that they did not talk as they were supposed to, or that they were not listened to when they spoke (Petersen, 2007). These two components of communication; talking and listening form the basis of successful communication that fosters relationships as discussed by Petersen. Petersen draws his arguments from years of experience in counseling and communication matters.
Petersen in his 2007 publication uses two main theories to teach the art of good communication. First is the ‘flat brain’ theory which simply refers to the issue of emotions in the midst of listening. According to Petersen (2007), emotional excitement poses a challenge to effective listening. Petersen says that when one is emotionally stirred, their energies are concentrated on the emotion more that any other empirical sense. He therefore advices that once a person is excited emotionally, they better postpone the talk or else they end up seeming ignorant to what their partners say. Petersen says that an easy way to knew that you are emotionally reacting is when you feel suddenly overwhelmed, tensed with butterflies in the stomach, sudden itchy skin followed by a thin sweat among other changes that one feels whenever reacting emotionally. He advises that we should not pretend to listen at such a time because we will be lying.
Secondly, Petersen talks about the 'talker-listener' card strategy. The idea of a talker listener card as presented by Petersen refers to a third party neutral entry, whose job is to keep track of who is taking and who is listening. By using the card, there is objectivity in what we say and how much of it w say. Petersen explained that the card could even be a third individual who comes in just to listen to the two people in a disputed relationship as they argue. He says the third party (the listener or just a set of written rules) comes in handy in ensuring that points argued are objective and calculated. This method comes in to cushion the yelling that is known to exist between two disagreeing parties. These two methods suggested by Petersen in his 2007 publication have proved their worth in improving relationship through better listening and talking.