Talk, Talk, Talk, and no one is listening
Improving Communication in relationships is one of the main topics of couples counseling. It’s where we all get tripped up.
Making relationships work requires a lot of effort. You need to be able to accept that it won’t be easy and it will probably require a lot more than you are willing to give at times. This is why relationships do not work out. Many people assume it is going to be easy and it will come naturally to them once they are married. However as time proves again and again, once two people marry and start a life together, they soon realize that it is not an all day party as they thought it would be. There are two people who are accustomed to doing things in two different ways and if you have more people living in the house, this just adds to the different ways anything should be done, if it has to be done right.
When arguments start over what is the one right way of doing things, many of us can become very defensive about protecting our ways of doing things. This is what gets the arguments started. Once these arguments are in full flow, only the love between the two of you can make you stop and think about where this argument is going. It is during these times when you realize that some battles are worth fighting and some are best to let go. However there is a better way of dealing with these differences. It is by getting your point across effectively to your spouse so that they understand how an argument affects you.
Compromises are essential, however many a times when we are made to compromise on an issue, we do not let go of the feelings. Instead, we keep it bottled up inside us until we can hold it in no longer and like hot lava, the venom spews from us and poisons our relationship. When this happens, the damage that is inflicted can be irreversible at worst. When we are drowning in anger that we have let stew within us for ages, our actions lose all meaning and all we want to do is inflict the same kind of hurt that we are feeling on the person who has wronged us.
Gradually these episodes become too frequent, making getting over them become tougher and tougher. The hatred that you felt during these episodes, previously was replaced by the love and longing you felt for your partner. However when these episodes get frequent, the love is lost amongst the strength of the hatred that you feel as well as the betrayal that comes from the knowledge that your partner would do something to hurt you.
Most of these feelings are a result of miscommunication and if only you allowed your partner to see your reactions when they were emerging, you would give them a better chance at helping you feel better. However by keeping all your anger bottled up until it is too late, you breed bitterness and deprive your partner of a chance to explain and resolve the issue at hand.
Where does it start?
All of us have own history and past experiences that bring out many issues in us. These issues affect us and color how we perceive our relationships and react to our partner’s demands. If you have trust issues or you become defensive when your partner points out any flaw, you need to communicate to them, how you feel and what you require for them in order to make the relationship work. No two people are alike and as a result, how you react to a situation will never be the same as how your spouse reacts to it.
You need to understand that and as a result be patient with your partner and give them the benefit of doubt. Whenever you feel yourself getting angry, give yourself some time to calm down and remember that your partner wants what is best for you. Although what they consider to be best for you would definitely be different from what you think. Communicate this to them, however do not get angry at them. Whenever you feel misunderstood, try your best to communicate what you feel to your partner.
If you think you are not good at communicating, you need not worry because most people are either naturally good at it or they are plain bad. The trick to communicating is to let them know how you feel without letting the emotions color your words. Do not place any blame on them by using the word ‘you’ at the beginning of your sentences. You need to tell them how you feel and then wait for them to offer you a solution.
A Few Communication Tips to Smooth The Way
- When your partner is talking, do not prepare your counter arguments in your head and instead focus on what they are saying, what they are trying to communicate as well as what their face expressions and body language portrays.
- Never lie to your partner because lies take a toll on you and force you to start hiding emotions and your feelings from your partner. Do not put yourself in that situation and instead always be honest about your feelings with your partner. If you feel hurt, tell them how and why you feel this way, without letting blame come into the conversation.
- Many people tend to say something while they mean something entirely differently. This is mostly because they are prone to hiding their feelings. We strongly advise that one should speak what is on their mind.
- Make sure what your spouse is saying corresponds with their body language. When you ask them in turn that although you are saying this, your body language is saying something completely opposite, are you trying to conceal your feelings from me? Maybe they will appreciate the effort you put in to trying to read their emotions, which will make their heart and anger soften towards you.
Stay In The Present
Finally, always make sure when you communicate with your partner, you do not bring in to the discussion, past issues or arguments. This is playing dirty and by using older arguments in current discussions, you are simply gathering ammo that will hurt your partner. By hurting your partner you will not be able to resolve the issue at hand or get your partner to agree to what you want.
Look at them and treat them like your best friend and you will be able to communicate easily with them. If you start thinking of them as your enemy, you will soon start to feel irritated and annoyed by all their actions. You must remember to be patient and take a break when you are angry, instead of arguing.
Communication is a skill and an art form. It takes practice and I’ve only just touched the surface on how to improve things. If you find yourself in a vicious cycle of poor communication and need some professional help to be feel understood and understand your partner, call today to arrange a session.