Added: Barton Forward - Date: 03.05.2022 01:40 - Views: 37569 - Clicks: 5585
Below are several researched and practical tips that help foster healthy communication. Recommendations for everyday situations, as well as specific strategies for handling arguments are discussed. Much of this information is based on the work of one of the leading marital therapists and researchers, John Gottman, PhD. Accordingly, we end up not paying full attention to what the other is saying. This, of course, is easier said than done! But, intention is key, so you need to start there.
You can take active listening a step further by sharing feedback. The classic way to do this is to restate what you heard the other person say, to demonstrate your understanding. We all know how great it feels to be heard.
Active listening, like so many aspects of communication, is a skill and therefore requires practice. As we do it more, we get better at it and it gets easier. When communicating with your partner, make a concerted effort to avoid personal criticism. This includes refraining from put-downs, insults and negative body language, such as eye-rolling.
As we all know, criticism makes people feel defensive, among other things; this ificantly inhibits the listening process and can lead to further escalation of anger and hurt feelings. When something is bothering you, bring it up gently and without blame. Be aware of the tone used when communicating problems. A mutually respectful tone — one that is neither passive nor aggressive — goes a long way in starting a productive dialogue.
This is one of my favorite approaches and really should be used as a mantra in all discussions, whether with spouses, other family members or friends. When in conflict, our default as human beings is often to focus on our desire to be understood. This can really shift the relational dynamic and pave the way for more open and fresh communication. Sure, they may feel good to say in the moment, as you release some pent up frustration or anger. Instead, ask open-ended questions when you have concerns. Try to keep discussions as calm as possible. If things start to escalate, take a break and re-visit when the two of you feel less emotionally charged.
Be mindful of your self-talk; are you saying things to yourself that keep you relatively calm or are you fueling the flames of emotional distress? Find ways to soothe yourself when upset. Conversations will be much more productive when emotions are more balanced. In any good relationship, each person will feel that they are valued and respected for who they are. When communicating, it can be helpful to identify what you appreciate about the other and state those things.
Conflicts are unavoidable in any intimate relationship and they can contribute to growth if they are handled with an eye toward resolution, rather than increasing tension. Below are some examples of ways to handle arguments productively. Let your partner know that you understand their point of view by validating them. With some arguments, this approach will work well. Levity can go a long way when used at the right time. If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of negativity, try to lighten things up with some humor or silly behavior. This can sometimes snap a couple out of an anger trance.
When embroiled in an argument, partners usually feel pretty disconnected from each other, which can feed the cycle of negativity. Reach out to your ificant other with respectful physical gestures, like holding their hand or putting an arm around their shoulder.
This can quickly change the relational dynamic to one that is more loving and less adversarial, by increasing the sense of connection and safety. Since touch can also trigger boundary violations, it can be a good idea to ask before you take this step. This is like doing a hard reboot on your computer. Let things shut down for a while and re-start later. When arguing, people have a tendency to focus on their point of view and become more polarized as things escalate.
Find this middle territory and talk about it in explicit terms. If you find yourself stuck in an argument, with each person speaking over the other and not listening very well, agree to set a timer. For example, give one person 5 minutes of time to say everything that is on their mind, while the other person just listens, without any interruption. When their time elapses, switch to the other person, by giving them 5 minutes of your undivided attention. Often, people just want to feel heard and understood. By agreeing to set a timer, each party can voice their concerns and feel some sense of control over the process, which tends to decrease charged emotions.
In general, when communicating with your ificant other, try to both listen and speak in a non-defensive manner. Granted, anger can be justified, but when you or your spouse is feeling this way, it can be helpful to look at the broader emotional landscape. By addressing the underlying fear or sense of loss, anger can be greatly diminished. As with any desired changes to behavior, practice is the key. Try out these strategies, see what works and give yourself permission to make mistakes. Anonymous said on January 17, I am very glad reading such helpful tips and I started right away to practise some of them.
Especially the approach of trying to first understand the other as well as sharing the common ground of difficult topics are new ideas for me. So glad that you found the piece helpful and thanks for sharing your feedback. The one on shifting to first trying to understand the other person can be particularly powerful! All the best to you. William said on March 8, I found this article to be very informative and helpful.
Working in the mental health field for the better part of the past decade I have experienced a of these misunderstandings in both my personal and professional life. I find that I am more interested in proving my point to be correct than I am in finding a mutually beneficial resolution to the issue. Thank you for taking the time to write this. LW said on September 8, Michael said on December 27, I wanted to thank you for the great tips that you have provided here on how to be great communicators with your ificant other. One thing that you mentioned that I thought was really important was that you should look to actively listen to the other as they speak because it shows them that you care about what they have to say.
My wife and I are always looking for ways to be able to communicate better with each other, and I think that this is really going to help us. Thanks again for the post, and I will consider sharing feedback with her. Ikeade Salami said on February 4, Making physical contact and taking a break to later reapproach has really help in my relationship. This is because if u do not disagree to agree such mistake will continue reoccuring and you will not set a standard. This method promotes understanding among couples. Sutton Turner said on April 13, I love how you said to take a break from an argument and readdress it later.
My wife and I are going to couples counseling for the first time. I really appreciate the communication tips for couples. You must be logged in to post a comment.Communication ideas for couples
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5 Communication Skills Every Couple Should Develop