How to Fix Communication in your Relationship

Do you feel your partner just doesn’t listen to you? You know you told them something, but they are adamant you didn’t, and this ends up in an argument. Each of you are sure you are right.

The way you communicate reveals everything about you. Words are the clothes your thoughts wear.

So let’s look at what is going on

If your partner is absorbed by something else when you are talking to them – perhaps rushing out to work, watching their favourite programme, or distracted by the children, you won’t have their full attention.

I will let you into a secret you may not know – we really can’t successfully Multi-Task. Well, to be correct, we can Simple Multi-Task, such as walk and talk, but we can’t Complex Multi-Task such as listening to two conversations at the same time. What actually happens is that our brains switch between the two, meaning we probably miss vital information. So if you want to ensure your partner has really heard you, make sure you have their full attention by talking to them when they are not distracted. And, to make doubly sure, write it on the family calendar!

The way you speak to your partner will make all the difference to the outcome

Ask yourself if you would speak to your best friend in the way you speak to your partner? If you wouldn’t, why would you speak to the most important person in your life in that way? Don’t make the mistake of talking to them as you probably do the children. If you talk to them like their parent, they are likely to respond as your child, and a rebellious one at that, feeling nagged and thus switching off.

Don’t get caught up in the Blame Game

When you start a tricky conversation about an issue you want to discuss with your partner, think about the way you approach it. Definitely start the conversation by creating a positive, warm environment. Put away your pointy finger, and instead see it as something to resolve together. Avoid blaming your partner as they are likely to become defensive, and lash out at you.

This so easily escalates, with each defending your corner, thus a discussion turning into a heated row, with no resolution, and just creating resentment. It’s far more powerful to use the phrases –
’I think’ and ‘I feel’, and viewing it as an issue within the relationship rather than your partner being in the wrong.

Mis-communication can cause real problems

This is something I can be guilty of, especially when I am in a rush. Perhaps hurriedly skim-reading a message or mis-hearing something because I’m not paying full attention. I try to take a breath, and either check out with the other person whether I understood them correctly, or re-reading the message and not firing back a terse response. It’s got me out of a lot of hot
water I can assure you!

Listening attentively will reduce a lot of misunderstandings

What can often happen in conversations is that part way through the other person speaking, you start practising your reply. Result – you miss vital parts of what the other said, and you
respond to what you thought you heard. Or, you may even put your own spin on what you thought your partner meant.

I know what you are thinking!

How I hate it when someone says this to me. I find it totally disrespectful, as no one knows what someone else is thinking. To be honest, I don’t always know myself, so how can anyone second-guess me? So please refrain from trying to predict what your partner may be thinking. Instead, be interested and curious. You will be amazed what you will discover about them.

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