Communicate More Effectively in all your Relationships
Good communication is the foundation for every relationship, and it’s also one of the hardest things to establish. Couples often have a hard time communicating, not because they aren’t listening, but because they aren’t ‘hearing’ what their partner is saying. Here are some things you can do to foster understanding and create more effective communication in your relationship.
One thing you can do to communicate more effective with you partner is to repeat back what he or she has said to you. That doesn’t mean you should sound like a parrot, it means paraphrasing what you think they’ve said and checking in with them to see that you got it right.
You are letting your partner know you are trying to understand the meaning behind what they are saying. A lot of conflict can be avoided if you get your own filters out of the way.
Give Your Attention
This isn’t the time to be on your phone, watching TV or scrolling social media. Put away the distractions and give your partner your full attention. If you are in the middle of something when approached, state that you would like to hear what they have to say as it’s important to you and let them know when you will be finished.
Remember, if you do this, you must make yourself available to them when you are done. This isn’t a way to escape the conversation!
When we are indirect people usually don’t get the message we are trying to convey. In some ways it makes sense that you would want to avoid conflict or confrontation, but not being direct often leads to misunderstanding. The simple truth is that not being direct often leads to more of the conflict you’re trying to avoid by being indirect. In fact, if you were to pay attention for a day or two, you’d probably be amazed at how often you use wiggle words instead of making a direct statement about something.
Another effective tool is to ask questions. Not the interrogating kind, but the ones that draw your partner into a conversation. This does two things: on the one hand, it engages your partner and, on the other, it helps get you past the habit of being indirect.
By asking a question, you soften the entry into a conversation. Asking direct questions, rather than skirting a conversation, is the best of both worlds. Try using open-ended questions, as they require more than one word answers.
Remember, good communication is a two-way street. Your goal should be to find a comfortable balance between talking, asking, and listening in order to ensure that your communication flows freely both ways.
Natasha provides counselling services in London that can help you to improve your communication and your relationships!