Literal and Inferential Communication
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Literal and Inferential Communication

Have you had difficulty sustaining a satisfying relationship?  Would you say you're in a good relationship, but you'd like to be able to enjoy it even more?  Do you think it's possible to predict your partner's behavior so you can improve the relationship by knowing how to interact? 
 
According to Marriage and Family Therapist Dr. John Kappas (also the founder of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute), most people fall into one of two categories: those who take in information literally and those who take it in inferentially.  If you were to tell a literal person which day of the week it is today, that person would most likely simply agree with you.  An inferential person, on the other hand, will probably try to analyze why you're telling him or her something so obvious. 
 
Knowing how your partner perceives can help you make communication go more smoothly by phrasing what you say in a way that works best for both you of you.  One way to determine how your mate interprets is to ask yes or no questions. 
 
If you find that he or she tends to answer with a yes or no most of the time, your partner is probably pretty literal, and you will do well using a straightforward means of communication.  Instead of dropping hints, make sure your communication is forthright and direct. 
 
If you find your loved one more often offers an explanation to yes or no questions, he or she is likely inferential and may be deriving something from your words that you didn't intend.  People who infer usually put a high value on their intellect and ability to choose, so it might be better to consider such things when choosing how to phrase your questions or statements.
 
Speaking to your loved one in the way he or she takes in information improves interactions between you, because it helps you to understand each other better, it makes each of you feel listened to, and it reduces the likelihood of misunderstanding.

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