Even though communication is essential to all kinds of relationships. Many of us are actually quite bad at it especially when it comes to intimate relationships. We have become a generation of avoiders who are afraid to be vulnerable or face up to their true feelings.
3 simple ways to better communication with your partner
Nobody likes being yelled at and it is unlikely that one will consider being yelled at as an invitation to listen to you.
These days we hide behind technology and social media, we “sub” our partners on facebook and twitter and pretend everything is cool when we meet face-to-face. Generally, we need to work on our communication game, our skill levels is not looking good at all. Here is how to get better:
1. Don’t Lie
“Nothing” is probably the commonest lie told in every relationship. Many people use “nothing” to avoid dealing with their feelings. The longer you hide behind “nothing” when you are angry, disappointed, sad, jealous or anxious about something, the quicker the communications lines between you and your partner deteriorates.
When you share your feeling with your partner, you remove many of the risks of being misunderstood. Being true to your feelings and sharing them honestly with your partner allows your partner to know what is going on inside of you, and he or she is more like to understand you.
The Ghanaian culture encourages us to suppress our emotions, particularly our negative emotions. Ignoring what you feel is never a good idea, many people are ruled by their emotions and even though you might think you are suppressing what your negative emotion for the general good of your relationship, you might end up hurting your relationship even more.
In any given situation, pleasant or not, you must be aware of your emotions and you must be willing to learn about your partner’s feelings to be able to communicate effectively.
2. Don’t yell
Nobody likes being yelled at and it is unlikely that one will consider being yelled at as an invitation to listen to you. Often, we yell out of frustration.
We want to be heard, we feel our thoughts and feelings are being ignored and so we scream hoping that will make a difference. Unfortunately, it often worsens the situation.
Whoever is being yelled at feels attacked and is likely to yell back at you.
So, nothing either of you is saying will be heard. In the end it’s just becomes a battel of angry faces and loud voices trying to diminish each other.
No matter how a situation pushes you to yell, consider taking deep breaths and then say what you would want to communicate in your head before you let it out your mouth in a more clear and acceptable way. Remember, you are talking to someone you claim to care about, how is yelling even an option?
Poor listening skills leads to a break-down in communication. Your ability and willingness to express yourself is as important as your ability and willingness to listen.
Listening takes a lot of effort especially in a situation when you are hurt, upset or confused, yet it is one sure way to give yourself the chance to understand what is happening.
When you listen attentively, it informs the way you respond to a situation. Paying attention to the words, the tone and the body language of your partner will enable you understand or at least give you clues about what is happening with him or her.
Is your partner tired, angry, hungry, frustrated, feeling ignored? You are better positioned to answer that and also make your partner feel that his or her thoughts or feelings have been heard and possibly understood. Any efforts to improve listening will make your relationship stronger.
When you listen to your partner, you are also telling them that you care about them and what they have to say, you respect their feelings and their thoughts even if you disagree with them.
You can never go wrong with discretion, love, and respect during communication. Allow your partner time to absorb what you are saying when it’s your time to speak and try not to say too much at once.
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