Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith admit they’ve had ups and downs in their marriage. However, Will says the secret to navigating tough situations with his wife is to try to understand where she’s coming from. Here’s what Will shared about his communication with Jada.
Will Smith’s definition of love
During a discussion on the Positively Gam podcast with Adrienne Banfield-Norris (Jada Pinkett Smith’s mother), Will spoke about his journey toward a healthy marriage. He says one of the ingredients to marital health is to practice “L.U.V.”
“Love is ‘L.U.V.,’ Will tells Banfield-Norris. “Listen, understand what the other person is saying, and validate the parts of it that you know are true. Listen, understand, validate. Can you understand what the other person is saying? I’m not even talking about agreement. You don’t have to agree. You just have to listen; you have to understand what they’re saying. You don’t have to think it’s true for you.”
Will Smith says understanding is the key to having compassion for others
Will says having compassion for others requires understanding. Without taking the time to understand how someone is feeling, it’s difficult to be compassionate.
“I kept seeing this idea of understanding being the predecessor of harmony, understanding being the predecessor of love, so for me, as an actor, it’s an easy thing,” says Will. “I get used to learning how to put aside what I think to understand a character. It’s a skill set that I believe is the single most valuable human interactive skill set. Can you put aside what you think and what you feel long enough to understand what the other person is thinking?”
How Will Smith communicates with Jada Pinkett Smith
Will says he practices trying to understand Jada. “Jada is the one person on earth that I’ve been most successful with being able to navigate difficult, painful situations, strictly trying to understand what she thinks and feels,” he says.
The Bad Boys star continues by saying many people struggle to communicate with others because they’re focused on their own needs and wants. “What became the problem is that we don’t actually want to understand each other. We don’t give a damn about understanding each other. You gotta understand me.”
Will continues by saying it’s vital to try to understand someone before you demand to be understood. “One of the laws of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is seek first to understand before seeking to be understood,” says Will during the Positively Gam podcast.
“As a principle, it’s such a valuable principle, but when that emotion riles up, it’s such a difficult thing to wrestle down,” he continues. “The process of listening, understanding, and validating, is how you open people to hear your side of the story.”
Furthermore, Will says healing emotional wounds is important for healing relationships and moving forward with healthy communication. “When we heal ourselves, all of our relationships heal,” he says. “Cleansing our own internal poisons is a big part of being able to create harmonious relationships.”
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