So let’s indicate what we are whipping up with the ingredients. These are the key components to help build the foundation for effective communication when topics arise that are difficult for couples to discuss. By learning to really listen to each other and using effective ways to communicate will allow couples to manage conflict. All couples will experience conflict but knowing how to handle conflict is one of the key ingredients for a successful relationship. Let’s discuss the ingredients needed to mix thoroughly, blend until smooth, and to serve on a daily basis.
Communicating effectively isn’t always an easy task. We are still learning how to effectively communicate with one another and have learned that our styles of communication are different. Two people have different personalities and come from different backgrounds so communication may be expressed differently. One person may be more emotional or expressive when talking than the other. It is important to learn your partner’s communication style. Our voice tone, facial expressions, or body language can inhibit a message from being apprehended. So often we judge body language, facial expressions, or the tone of voice versus the message itself. To diminish negative responses it is important to pick the right time to convey an important message. Many times we think we need to be heard the minute we have a thought or feeling when the other person is wrapped into something else.By allowing a person to “check in” before you deliver your message will help prevent a negative response. Both partners should pick a time to communicate about an issue when there are no distractions so that both partners can give their full attention and approach it positively. It takes two and both partners have to be willing to take turns as the speaker and listener.
Just think, how many conversations have drifted off into an argument due to the presentation of the message. When a message is submitted to someone when that person is not interested it can lead to negative body language, voice tone, and/or facial expressions. It is also important not to “attack” your partner when presenting a message. For example, “You are always messing up the kitchen!” When we constantly repeat “you” and are giving negative statements of what the other partner is doing or does, it can lead to a heated argument. Using “I” and “me” when delivering a message won’t allow your partner to feel attacked or blamed. For example, “I get aggravated when the kitchen is a mess and not cleaned up.” We have to “cool down” and pick the right time and place to present a message so that both partners can tune in and manage the issue together. Learning effective ways to communicate won’t help us avoid conflict in our relationship but will help prevent the conflict we do have from demolishing our relationship.
How should we communicate? One of the most important steps of effective communication is to listen attentively without interruption. Listening and allowing the other person to get his or her message delivered is vital in a relationship. A positive approach and having a positive regard to your partner’s thoughts and feelings is one of the first steps for effective communication. In our relationship, one person has the dominant personality so the other person feels like they hardly ever get their point across; therefore when the next topic approaches the person that isn’t as dominant is venting. So to solve an issue in this situation, it is important to allow one another to get each point across so that both partners can feel confident in their role in the relationship. We have to learn to accept ones feelings and differences and to verbally acknowledge compliance to what the other person is saying. In many cases, we have to accept that we will not always agree with our partner on every issue and agree to disagree. We hear this statement used very often but agreeing to disagree on sensitive issues can be done by two people who are willing to compromise and this will determine the strength of a relationship. Successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both partners.