6 TIPS FOR DEVELOPING GREAT COMMUNICAITON IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
If trust is the foundation of a great relationship then communication is the plumbing. When communication starts to get backed up, things can get messy and our relationship starts to stink. Here are six tips to developing great communication in your relationship.
Learn the Language
It has been said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Whatever planet you’re from and whatever language you speak, we don’t all come from the same place or communicate in the same way. Taking the time to actually learn how your partner/spouse communicates is essential in building great communication in your relationship. I have no reason to be angry when I’m in Mexico and the people there don’t understand my English. We get so frustrated when our significant other doesn’t understand what we are feeling, thinking or saying and we often blame them but what if we are just speaking the wrong language? Meeting each other half way is the best approach when it comes to learning the language. You actually develop a third, unique and intimate language of your own.
Develop Great Timing
Having the deep, difficult conversation that has been building up over the last 6 months right when he/she walks in the door from a stressful day at work is not the right recipe for a positive outcome. The great quarterback/wide receiver combos on our favorite football teams are able to keep the ball moving down the field and eventually score by developing great timing and chemistry. We can sense and know each others mood throughout the week and find the perfect timing for both our normal and deeper life conversations.
It’s How You Say It
I usually place timing and tone together in one bucket. They are both two sides of the same coin, meeting your partner/spouse right where they are at. Not where I wish they were or how I wish they would react but where they are; insecurities, anxieties, flaws and all. Chances are, there are at least several times that what you said wasn’t all that bad but how you said it changed the course of the entire night, week or month even. Consider tone as an important piece of the puzzle in building great communication in your relationship.
Sometimes the conversation keeps getting put off. The pain, frustration and loneliness keeps getting swept under the rug until our problems have mounted up to much more than communication issues. I wonder how many marriages could have been saved from mental breakdowns, infidelity and many more issues if someone would have stopped when they sensed pain and just leaned in to ask what’s going on. Lean in lovingly when your partner is shutting down or showing signs of pain and allow them to progress towards opening up at their pace.
What does fun have to do with communication?! Uh, everything. When we are having fun together, I’m less likely to take offense, to question motives or to be selfish. All these get in the way of great communication and keeping your relationship fun is a vital part of the last tip, trust their heart.
Trust their Heart
The truth is that none of us are perfect communicators. Some of the world’s foremost communicators have marriage issues because they can communicate with excellence to the masses but not with their own spouse. When we, or our partner/spouse, are failing to communicate well (time, language or tone) we must rely on the trust we have built with one another over time. When I struggle to communicate what I’m feeling or going through I need my wife to trust my heart. Trust that I mean well. Trust that I’m trying. Trust that I only want the best for her. Remember, communication is the plumbing but trust is the foundation.