When couples are told that they need to communicate more they often think that it is an open invitation to talk but there is a complete difference between talking and communicating.
What Does healthy Communication look like?
Communication is the art of combining the ability to express your opinions and feelings in such a way as to ensure that the person or people you are talking to understand what you are trying to say with the ability to listen and understand the other person’s viewpoint.
Over the years it’s amazing the number of times people are provided with information that, if acted upon, could positively impact their relationship. But, because of the sheer lack of people’s ability to listen to and think through another person’s point of view, unique opportunities pass them by.
Relationships are no different to the work environment other than there are, usually, just two of you. Often, what could be a marriage made in heaven is destroyed by the sheer inability to communicate. The most successful relationships are those where both parties have strong verbal and listening skills.
The Problem with Poor Communication
Many relationship problems begin with poor communication. Couples often feel that their partner should know what they are thinking and how they feel so they do not communicate and then wonder why they feel neglected and undervalued.
How many people decide not to tell their partner something just because they don’t know how to say it and then the problem just eats away at the relationship until there is no relationship left. What a waste! Just the ability to share a problem can make what seemed to be an insurmountable issue a tiny little blip on a large horizon.
So whenever you feel stressed or don’t know what to do, don’t just bottle it up. Talk about it, seek advice from a professional and listen to the answer. Don’t stay quiet when you know in your heart there is a problem and it has to be aired. Don’t put off tomorrow what needs to be sorted today. Remember tomorrow never comes!
Think before your speak!
It’s not what you say, but how you say it that could ruin a relationship. The wrong way to share your feelings is when you blurt something out that you know might aggravate or distress your partner. The last thing you want is for them to get defensive, burst into floods of tears, and storm off.
You want the person you are trying to communicate with to be open and perceptive. To achieve this, your timing and approach have to be right.
Each person is different. What works for one person may not work for another. For some people, all you can do is sow the seed and give them time to work it out for themselves.
Each person is an individual. Be patient and understand the right approach for you and your partner. Ensure that you never start a discussion if you don’t have time to finish it. Don’t insist on a debate if one of you is busy, one of you has to rush off to work, deal with the kids, or your partner’s relaxing in front of the TV watching their favorite TV program.
If the timing never seems to be right, ask the question ‘when would it be a good time for us to just sit down and talk?’
Whatever you do, do not let yourself appear agitated either in what you say or how you say it. Body language can just as easily put your partner on the defensive as what you say to them. Even if your partner is vying for a fight, just don’t react. Remember, the first golden rule, approaching defensive with defensive is a sure way to failure.
Become a Good Listener
One of the key ways to improve communication is to develop strong listening skills. Couples often fail to listen to what their partner has to say. They may interrupt them and give the impression that no matter what is said they won’t change their mind.
One way to ensure that you have listened and understand what your partner has said is to repeat back to them what you have heard. This will demonstrate that you have been listening to what they’ve said and by repeating it back to them, you can show that you comprehend and understand.
Couples can resolve conflicts quickly and easily when they take time to listen, understand and repeat back to their partner what was being said.
How to Bounce Back from Communication Challenges in your Marriage or Relationship?
Marriage and relationships come with their own set of challenges. You have two people from different walks of life, different life experiences working on building a life together. When you make your relationship a priority by doing the work, maybe working with a coach who can see your blind spots, then you create a beautiful marriage/relationship that you can be proud of.
When our relationship is in trouble because of poor communication it can cause stress to both partners. A small problem unattended can lead to bigger problems that could put the relationship at risk.
If you feel that your relationship issues are beginning to weigh heavily on your mind, take a break and do something you enjoy preferably with your partner. Refocus your attention on doing things together that you both love, then day-to-day issues will seem smaller and manageable.
Spending quality time together, enjoying each other’s company could enable you and your partner to recapture some of the lost feelings. You can put things into perspective. You can see things more clearly. Instead of fighting each other, you now solve your problems through healthy communication.
Book a Free Coaching Session with a relationship coach if you would like to cultivate better communication in your relationship.