Communication in relationships
Talking is fun when you’re mindlessly gassing. But when that communication is wrapped in emotions and bringing up a topic could be liken opening Pandora’s box. It ends up being a lot less fun and it can become hard and headache worthy as my boyfriend put it when I asked for his take on communication in relationships.
So why should we communicate even though it’s hard?
- The elephant in the room becomes smaller and smaller
- You wont feel as though you have to walk on eggshells
- Even though it feels heavy to talk about emotions you actually end up feeling lighter because of it
- Not communicating and harbouring emotions is a recipe for disaster. It’s a ticking time bomb for a relationship to breakdown and end
Okay Tam, we get why. But how do we communicate?
- If you are wanting an open conversation you have to limit judgement.
- Let the other person speak without interrupting them *this is hard for me
- Don’t say YOU, say when this happens it makes me feel like this – not YOU do this wrong and that wrong-this is your fault, etc
- Actively listen to what the other person is saying, repeat back to them what they said so they feel validated and understood – this helps with resolving issues
- Don’t wait for your turn to talk, it’s communication not tennis, batting words at each other to no avail.
- If things start turning into an argument, then you each need a time out to collect your thoughts and emotions – then come back to the conversation
- Limit words like ALWAYS & NEVER – it’s easy to say you always act like this, you never listen to me, etc but it takes away the times they did – maybe they’re trying and they slipped up – it isn’t always helpful to remember people for their previous faults if they’re trying to change and grow – that shit isn’t easy and deserves validation even when you’re not seeing eye to eye
- Remember that the reason you’re communicating is to let someone in on how you’re feeling or vice versa – communicating is about getting to the bottom of something or setting out on the right path together. Even if you don’t want to be in the conversation or don’t understand why you’re having it – if someone close to you feels it’s important to them – it’s important to see why. (Provided it wont have a negative impact on your mental health)
It’s not about being right its about understanding the other person, gaining a little insight into their mind and feelings and that in itself is a privilege. Communicating is at the core of every relationship – relationships are built on trust and communication. Opening up to someone you trust, letting yourself be vulnerable and them letting you is powerful and intimate, whether that’s with a lover or friend.
A lack of communication can lead to feelings on contempt, like you can’t be honest or yourself. It can turn relationships toxic, create a lack of care & that person you used to be head over hills in love with can feel like a stranger. Yet a little conversation can turn it all around. Gaining understanding and clarity = two people on the same page.
Sometimes you also need words with actions to feel validated – us human beings are insecure creatures that love a bit of verbal reassurance. The saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ on a whole is true, but if you don’t feel listened to and then out of the blue they do X, Y & Z it can feel confusing. The sweet spot is marrying the two together. Not one or the other.
Happy Communicating! 🙂