Relationships and communication
A relationship with a spouse or life partner is what enriches our lives and gives it meaning. That we share our most intimate dreams and desires, hurts, disappointments and our achievements with this person.
Maintaining a relationship can be challenging at times especially when one of the individuals does not communicate well, this can be very frustrating and can ultimately lead to a breakup. Proper communication skills are one of the key factors in a good and lasting relationship. When we are able to properly communicate and feel that the other person has understood what we are trying to convey than the relationship will continue to grow.
Developing Communication Skills
Three important skills go into proper communication with your partner.
The first is timing (knowing when to approach the bench). Next is communicating without putting the other person on the defensive, and last is taking turns to actively listen to one another without judgment.
All three of these communication skills will be beneficial in keeping the relationship on the right path.
Learn how to take your marriage from dull to exciting
Timing is everything
Now, who says, “timing isn’t everything“.
In a relationship, timing is very important when you are trying to communicate an issue with your partner or spouse and you want them to listen!
If you do not ask, you will not receive it! Respect your partner, by asking them if it is a good time to talk. There is no point in discussing an issue with someone when they are not ready to listen to you. The other person may have had a long day or just not be in the mood to communicate at the moment. Ask your partner when it will be a good time to talk and make a point to stick to that time.
When you actively listen to the other person, you are looking at them in the eyes and giving them your full attention.
This also means that you are not interrupting and being inpatient while they are speaking to you. The other part of good communication is actively listening without prejudgment. Once you prejudge or place judgment on what your partner is saying, you have stopped actively listening.
An example would be: Your partner says the reason that they did not help you with the dishes is that they felt that they could not do it the right way for you. You may interpret this as your partner giving you an excuse, but if you listen without judging then you may be open to what the true meaning may be. You would say, “I hear what you are saying that you don’t do the dishes because you feel like you cannot do it the right way for me?”
You have just learned the art of relating back to them what they said to you. This gives them another chance to explain more to you because you are showing that you hear what they are saying. When a person is trying to express to another person how they feel and the other person repeats it back they are showing that they have paid attention and understand what they are saying.
Do Not Put Your Partner On The Defensive
The rule of putting people on the defensive applies to any form of communications and many people communicate this way without even realizing it.
When you open a sentence with, “you did this” or “I don’t like that” this will immediately turn the other person off and you just ruined your chance of getting your point across. The art of proper communication is to have the other person actively listen without feeling as they are on the defensive.
This can be achieved by always talking about how you feel and sticking to that! No one can argue your feelings, because they are yours. Example: “I feel hurt when you don’t help me with the dishes. It makes me feel like you don’t care about me“. Instead of “why don’t you help with the dishes” or “you should help out with the dishes“.
Coming from a place of how you feel will not put any blame on the other person and you will get the chance to say what you really feel. The best thing to do is practice this type of communication on yourself and make sure to be clear about what it is that you are truly feeling.
Many times anger is really hurt feelings and saying “I feel hurt instead of I feel angry” is closer to the truth. The point is to be direct in your statement, there is no need to say the same thing in a thousand different ways and say it from your heart.