Couples need to start talking!
So I am going to make the assumption you’re in a relationship. And chances are you’ve had your fair few moments. OK, it’s normal to have arguments, it’s a completely normal part of being a couple. The key to any making your relationship last is to work toward building a stronger, more intimate bond and as couples, is communication. Talking and communicating is important because it helps build trust, connections, and allows you to have an open, honest, and vulnerable relationship with our partner.
Starting off we need to see when we are poor communicators.
Whether you’re a new couple or have you’ve been together for years, I am going to show you both how to improve your communication skills. I am guilty of poor communication at times so here are some signs to look for if you are questioning if you feel the same.
Using passive-aggressive behavior
The annoying one, passive aggression is a way of you showing hidden anger instead of addressing your conflict head-on, ways this will look like are below.
- Jokes about your partner always being late.
- Punishing them for something small and giving the silent treatment, I am not talking BDSM here.
- Making digs about their decisions.
- Dragging your feet, making them feel bad.
All of the above allow you to show your frustration without actually having to talk about it. It might feel satisfying, but it won’t serve you any favors in the long run. Don’t take that list as everything it’s just to give you an idea.
Couples brushing things under the rug
So you cant simply avoid the issues, ignoring issues gives these feelings space and time to build up into something big and will be all brought up in the next fight.
Are you using aggressive speech
Becoming openly defensive when talking to your partner is a sign you’ve fallen into a toxic communication pattern.
- Raising your voice.
- Blaming or criticizing.
- Controlling or dominating the conversation.
So I know you can be a better communicator
As you are still reading I am guessing that you have noticed one or more of the above signs in your relationship? So now let’s do some work together to try and make it better so the next part is going to help. After a really big period of therapy, I have started to rebuild my relationships and the below suggestions are really helping me and the relationships in my life.
To get started you need to look at your feelings
Before talking with your loved one/partner/friend about an issue that’s upsetting for you, be sure to look inwards at your feelings first and calm yourself. If you go into a conversation feeling very angry, upset or too emotional, then the communication tends to become too heated and difficult to find a resolution, and you will end up worst. Look I know it’s hard but try taking a quick walk or listening to relaxing music before talking to your partner. That way you’ll be more in control of your emotions and be able to communicate well.
Think about the timing
Choosing the right time to talk can make all the difference I know this is odd I am telling you to talk more and then saying no don’t wait. So what I am saying is if something’s weighing on your mind, give your partner a heads up that you’d like to sit down and talk. If your partner knows that you’d like to speak with them, this can help bring the heat down because they are less likely to feel ambushed or under attack with a heated debate, with some people you might need to tell them not to worry as anxiety might get the better of them.
Start with ‘I’ statements and feelings
How we speak can make all the difference this is one that I have found the hardest. Couples begin a
fight conversation by placing blame and pointing the finger. So beginning conversations with how you are feeling a really easy way you do this by starting with “I.” For example, instead of calling out your partner for focusing too much on work, you could say, “I feel hurt when you always focus on work.” This is less accusatory than saying, “You’re always focusing on work.”
Communication is both being heard and listening
When most couples start debating or arguing they see this as they must win, while you may not agree with your partner’s point of view, it’s important to actually listen to why they feel the way they do. They should do the same for you. Again a thing that I was really bad with but let’s dig deeper actively listening and trying to understand their point of view is going to make your lives better.
Compromise, Compromise, Compromise
The focus of talking with your partner is coming to an understanding. Whether you’re bringing up hurt feelings or trying to addressing conflicting ideas about future plans, both of you should leave a conversation feeling as though there’s some kind of resolution, not hurt, crying or anything bad.
To make this happen you are going to have to compromise on some points, whether it’s about the who cleans the kitchen or if there is a payment needed. compromising can bring on feelings of strength and connection between partners.
Set clear boundaries
Placing boundaries can help stop the dreaded miscommunication. For example, money is a sore spot for me, so why not come up with this boundary. With all money pooled together decide that any purchase over £100 must be discussed and approved by both of you to help.
Little notes left for each other
Leaving a note to let them know what you’re doing can be so helpful it gives them information, that your partner can read in there own time and shows that you’re thinking of them and being considerate of their issues or worries. If you know you’ll be meeting up with a friend after work, leave a quick note letting your partner know a quick text message or voice note. This is not you being under the thumb this is making your loved one not worry something has happened to you.
This one is IMPORTANT check-in throughout the day
Doing regular checks in the morning, afternoon, and in the evening. Having this will allow you both to check-in, see if you’re in a bad mood, or if you want your partner to know before you explode. Try using a scale of 1 to 10 to let your partner know how your day is going or as my little uses a colour chart.
So what know
As I said above great communication is the rock of a successful relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. If you’re having a hard time working through communications in your relationship, consider seeing a therapist, either on your own or with your partner, to work through any underlying issues and develop some new tools. I did and I have to say I am a new person.