How to Improve Communication With Your Partner
So, what is good communication in a relationship? How will it make a difference in yours?
In essence, good communication is where the speaker can say what he or she thinks needs to be said. And the listener can listen and hear what is being said. Then the roles get reversed and the speaker becomes the listener and the listener the speaker. Good communication means there are nointerruptions when the speaker is speaking and that the listener listens attentively regardless of what's being said. But I am sure you know this.
Often the problem with couples' communication is not that people don't know the rules of good communication, but that emotions get in the way.
Sometimes it's nearly impossible for one member of the couple to listen to the other without interrupting. Because what is being said generates an emotional response and the person cannot contain themselves.
Sometimes the speaker cannot get through what he or she istrying to say because the listener assumes he or she already knows what the speaker wants to say, completing the thought incorrectly. On top of that, the listener may have an emotional reaction to what the listener assumed was going to be said.
Sometimes the speaker speaks in veiled messages or sends out emotional barbs. The messages and barbs may hit their mark and "get" the listener, arousing emotions and reactions, yet the speaker may not realize that he or she is causing part of the communication problem.
So, what do you do if you want to fix the communication in your relationship? How do you set it up to work well from the start?
Go back to the basics. Take turns communicating. Listen to each other. Keep your emotions in check, and speak up when you were "gotten."
Let your partner say what he or she needs to say. Genuinelylisten. Hold your emotions in check, regardless of how they may be aroused, even if a hidden message or a verbal barb "got" you. Wait your turn. Then speak your truth, emotions, reactions, thoughts, etc. But speak in such a way that allows your partner to hear instead of reacting. Make sure your feel heard, then switch again, until both of you are done.
The key is keeping your emotions in check. The way you do this is by assuming from the get-go that your emotions may very well be aroused in any and all conversations with your partner. Sometimes the emotions will be "good": love, happiness and closeness. Sometimes they will be "bad": sadness, anger, grief and alienation.
Your job is to feel the emotions but to keep their expression in check. You can speak about them when it's your turn to speak. Even act them out a bit -- raise your voice a bit, pace the floor, clench your fists -- but you will not let them burst out.
This will take a lot of practice, but if you can learn how to do this, the communication in your relationship will flow much more smoothly as a result.
Master Certified Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries coaches singles to attract and build loving, fulfilling, long-term relationships. For more information about Coach Rinatta Paries and the myriad of services she has created for singles, visit her Web site, WhatItTakes.com.