The biggest issue as a couple is communication in relationships. I think you’ll be with me on this one! It seems that one of the biggest issues of being in a relationship — whether you are dating, living together or married — is simply being able to communicate effectively with your partner.
The Biggest Issue
And one of the biggest challenges in that appears to be the fact that women and men simply tend to have different couple communication styles. This difference can make it hard, often impossible, to interpret what someone’s partner is really saying — and easy to misunderstand or take offence!
Let’s stop the drama before it starts!
There is a huge difference between men and women, which is why miscommunication arises.
Men and women have grown up learning different techniques to deal with conflict. Boys grow up wrangling, physically and otherwise. They become accustomed to engaging with each other through a series of small conflicts: for dominance, to resolve issues, or just for the heck of it. It starts as early as Primary School age when they play fight all the way through to adulthood. Therefore, offence is never normally taken, the rules are laid in advance, the battle commences, the winner stands tall, a line is drawn and all is done.
Girls, on the other hand, grow up learning to avoid conflict. Placate, rather than go down the dramatic line, and are generally wanting peace and harmony as they are not equipped to deal with the confrontation. As a result, adult men and women have different expectations about the frequency and nature of the conflict.
These different expectations can cause men to find women unpredictable and irrational, and women to believe the man to be harsh and unthoughtful and inconsiderate.
Tips to Help Communication in Relationships
1) Body Language
Pay attention to body language to get the full message that is being sent. The subliminal messages can give you a “feeling” that something isn’t right. Trust your feelings and intuition. Keep your eyes open to communicate well.
Listening, rather than hearing, is important to good communication. Listen more and interrupt less to make your other half feel that they matter and they’ve been heard. This skill can be helpful in every aspect of your life. Use it often.
3) Be Concise & Clear
When you have something to say, be clear and concise. Nobody enjoys hearing someone beat around the bush. They will appreciate and respect you for it. Getting to the point quickly helps to avoid misunderstandings.
4) Eye Contact
Giving the right amount and type of eye contact is important when communicating. Eye contact should be genuine and gentle. Avoid intense stares. These make people uncomfortable and they shut down.
5) Be Approachable
Unless you’re approachable, people don’t try to talk with you. To be more approachable, smile and make eye contact. Your body language should be open and inviting. These things invite others to talk and connect with you. Try not to let things fester, where you lose your humour and try to keep the feeling the loving kindness.
Communication is about mutual sharing. If you find yourself focusing on yourself, turn that around and focus on others by asking a question. It takes the pressure off and you both deserve to share your thoughts.
7) Everyone is Different
Remember that everybody is different. Keep in mind that each person has different tastes and opinions. Sharing similarities and differences make for interesting conversations and enjoyable learning opportunities and shouldn’t be seen as areas of conflict.
If you want to make a good impression, mirror the other person a bit. For example, match their head tilt once or twice. This fosters a feeling of connectedness and may suggest that you are both on the same page.
9) Avoid Texting
Choose the right form of communication. Sometimes texts and emails are misunderstood. I avoid texting at all costs regarding areas of miscommunication, as this will only complicate things more. However, using verbal communication gives you a chance to verify receipt of the message as well as clarify or expand on a subject.
A group meeting does not have to be an all-day event. A quick check-in twice a week may be all your group needs to keep them on track and motivated. This works well for most groups, including church, school, and social groups.
If you have some fabulous ideas to improve communication in relationships, please do let us know! Sharing is caring!
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