How to Bridge The Couple Communication Gap

Bridging the couple communication gapWe hardly hear of a couple who did not have a few bumps in their life. All relationship problems stem from the fact that relationships involve two different individuals. They contribute two different sets of emotions, experiences, beliefs, point of views and expectations. When these two worlds collide, a relationship conflict sprouts.

Most couple’s inability to sort out these issues can be traced back to one thing: lack of effective communication. The two individuals bring along their personal level of communication skills.

Most couples weigh talking and communicating in the same scale. By simply asking your spouse about his day or about the kids does not mean you are communicating important things. Communication involves a more open and worthwhile talk with your partner.

But better communication is a skill that can be learnt and perfected.

So if you are a victim of constant conflicts with your spouse the following helpful tips might be able to steer you out of your relationship troubles

1. Pause To Listen

How many times have you been so caught up in a conversation with your significant other that you forgot to stop and listen to his/her point of view? Especially when you are in the moment, it is even more difficult to remember this tactic.

It is naturally difficult for us to pull aside out our opinion when you are trying to prove yourself right. This is because when placing an argument, we are so afraid of not being heard that we choose to keep talking. Ironically, this is the behaviour which makes us unlikely to be heard.

A healthy conversation should involve a two way communication. It should always be intercepted with pauses to make place for your spouse’s opinion. So next time you want to complete your side of the argument, simply stop and try to listen for a change. Maybe the feedback is the solution you both are looking for.

2. Force Yourself To Hear It Out

You might have been involved in countless conversations where you may have stopped talking but your mind is still spinning around ideas that “you” have to impose in a conversation. So you are unable to concentrate on what is being said. You may not be able to focus your attention.

But there is a proven method that you can use to force yourself to listen. “Reflection” is a method implemented by therapists in their sessions. You are just required to rephrase what your partner says in your own words to avoid being distracted. This will ensure that you are wholly attentive instead of wandering off on one of your tangents while thinking of a good rebuttal. But make sure you use the right tone while rephrasing because sounding sarcastic won’t be able to help the situation you are in at all!

3. Honesty is the Key

The secret behind a successful relationship is to be honest about yourself. Most people might not enjoy being very open about their lives and their personal feelings. But when two individuals begin sharing a life, it becomes essential to be more open about yourself. Hiding behind lies, concealing your true emotions or giving the silent treatment are a few of the major barriers towards a healthy relationship.

When sharing with your special someone, you are expected to reveal and discuss stuff that you have never talked about with another individual. Some people like to keep secrets. But secrets that start eating away at the root of your relationship should be discouraged. Being open with your partner does not mean discussing trivial details about your day. It simply means being completely vulnerable and honest unabashedly.

You might fear that it will open you to hurt and resentment as well. Thus you allow yourself and your spouse to explore the full potential of your relationship.

4. Notice The Non-Verbal Signs

Much can be understood by just observing the body language of the person you are talking to keenly. Body language is an essential component of an effective communication. So keep a lookout for folded arms, eye contact, facial expressions or even a loud tone. These subtle hints might help improve the way you contribute in a conversation.

Reading these non-verbal signs takes time and patience but once you develop a habit you will be more attuned to what they mean. Also make sure your body language does not give any negative signs that can be damaging for your partner.

5. Choose the Right Time to Talk

Very frequently you may find your discussions morph into arguments just because you touched a topic at an inappropriate time. It is not necessary that you need to be heard the minute you have an idea or a feeling. Using your experience with your spouse, you may be able to time important conversations when keeping certain factors in mind.

Bothering a spouse who had a bad day at work will only escalate his irritability and it will result in unhealthy results. Having important conversations before bedtime is usually not a good idea.

6. Watch Your Tone

The manner in which you communicate an idea may have an impact on how it is heard. Getting too emotional during big decision making conversations will usually lead nowhere. Similarly keeping a lid on your anger will help cultivate more open grounds for a discussion.

In your desire to “win” an argument, you might get irrationally rude and imposing. You should know when to back off and keep your calm. You might have to compromise on some of your opinions. When questioning bowing down, convince yourself how unhealthy it is to prioritise being right over your partner’s happiness.

Nobody wants to be in a unhappy relationship where they are always “right”. So be careful of the way you project your opinions and avoid unnecessary hurt. Sometimes humour and playfulness can add the element that creates a friendly atmosphere. It helps lighten frustrations and is tackles the situation more gently.

Nobody can master the art of perfect communicator. But better communication starts with one partner trying to improve and it may serve as a motivation for your significant other to contribute to your efforts.

If you’re wanting help with  your relationship communication, please contact me on 0413 181 320 for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation on how I can help you.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk

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