It sounds so simple but it is one of the most common triggers to a relationship falling apart. Miscommunication can breed unhappiness and frustrations which can then lead to more serious problems like cheating and the eventual demise of a relationship. If one of you thinks you are right about something and is too stubborn to hear the others point of view, it can be really frustrating for the other person who may have a perfectly valid reason to disagree. Learning how to communicate effectively, deal with any conflict and get your views across to each other is essential to building a happy healthy relationship.
Here’s how best to get the message across so that you can avoid miscommunication with your partner.
1. They are not mind readers
You may think your partner knows you really well but when it comes to conflicts and disagreements, don’t make the mistake of assuming they know what you are thinking. It is much better to be completely open and honest about what is on your mind so you are both on an even keel when it comes to resolving the issue.
2. Don’t apportion blame
Blame culture in any situation is not healthy. It also doesn’t help to solve any problems as when you apportion blame to someone (even if in your mind it is entirely their fault), it is likely to make them close up and be more guarded. It is much better to keep blame out of the discussion and try to be more constructive. This way you will be able to head toward a resolution with much less aggression along the way.
3. Make your point, then stop!
When you are trying to get your point across, try to avoid repeating yourself over and over again. You need to think about what it is you want to say and say it….. Thank stop and wait for a response. When someone continually repeats the same point in lots of different ways, it is likely to cause the other person to shut down and stop listening.
4. You are meant to be on the same team
Remember that the reason you are having this discussion is probably so you can move on in your relationship and build on it. You are both meant to be on the same team so try to remember that, even if things do get a little frustrating and heated.
5. Avoid absolutes
Try to avoid saying things like “you always” or “you never” as this implies something about your partner that is probably not true. Equally, you should avoid commands such as “you must do this” “you should do this” or “you have to do this” – it’s not your right to tell an adult what to do. Instead try things like “it would be good if you could” or “Id really like it if you could try”. These are less assertive and are actually much more likely to get you the response you desire.
6. Make sure you have each others attention
In todays fast moving technology fueled world it is understandable that occasionally people will be busy checking their emails on their iPad or may be sat in the middle of watching a show on TV. If you are trying to start a discussion of any kind, it is important to make sure these distractions are turned off or out of the way. It is a good idea to make an agreement with your partner early on in the relationship that when ever one of you has something to say, the other needs to try to finish up what they are doing and give their undivided attention. There is little more annoying than trying to have a discussion with someone who has their eyes buried in Candy Crush.
7. One thing at a time
If you are discussion one particular thing that is bothering you or that you need to get across to your partner, make sure you focus on that topic.
8. Don’t bring up the past
This is a difficult one but if you do bring up the past, you may find your partner shuts down. Obviously if this is a repeat of a previous argument, maybe try to avoid referencing the past mistake too much.
9. Body language
If you have your arms folded, or your legs crossed and your head bowed, your partner isn’t going to want to talk to you properly and they’re not really going to be open to listening to you. Keep your body language open, give plenty of eye contact and keep your facial expression neutral. Your partner will be much more open to talking to you.
10. End with a solution
At the end of the day, you want to move on and grow with each other in the relationship. Whatever it is you are trying to discuss or resolve, try to head towards a solution or an agreement you are both happy with. Conflict is pretty much unavoidable in a relationship and discussing things is better than keeping things to yourself. The main thing to do is to learn more about each other from each discussion you have.