I’ve spent a whole lot of time working with couples who are having trouble communicating within their relationship. Among the first questions I ask them is”Was it always hard to talk to each other”? The solution is almost always no. However, over time, the inability to link through verbal communication has faded. It is interesting to note, that I see this more in couples that are younger than 40. I believe this to be true because this demographic grew up with a mobile device attached to their hips and hands, and never actually had to rely on fundamental interpersonal skills. And there are 3 areas that commonly cause problems for us as we try to communicate.
The first problem area is courtesy. Although this can be true at any given age, the art of courtesy is lacking with the 40 and younger audience (please know that I am not making a generalization. I simply see it more with these couples).
I have written about this extensively. When engaged in mindful conversation with our partner, we do not answer text, emails or take calls. I know I am guilty of this from time to time. But both my spouse and I are very good at communicating our needs when having these conversations. Just another night as we were driving down to the water, I began to discuss our forthcoming financial responsibilities. In a matter of moments, she asked if we could please not talk about that today. That the point of going to the water was supposed to enjoy the wildlife and sunset. In a matter of moments, that conversation stopped, and we could enjoy our day talking about more meaningful things.
By showing her respect and honoring her wishes, we were able to connect to each other and source. She said her request. She was not rude about it. I didn’t take offense to it. We had a lovely evening.
The second area that brings couples do my doorway is their fighting. When two or more are gathered together, there’ll eventually be misunderstanding and conflict. But if you”fight fair”, it can be a doorway that leads to greater intimacy. Allow me to try and simplify this. It’s so important that when a tricky conversation begins, be fully present and invest in the process.
I’ve had couples when in the midst of a heated discussion take calls, turn of the TV set and any other thing they could do to prevent intimacy. Because that what this really boils down to. There are numerous tools out there that can help alleviate an argument. It would be helpful to research some, and have them readily available (and agreed upon) prior to a fight. It’s much better to be proactive than reactive in these situations.
The last thing I wish to mention is the”I am sorry” area. So a lot of us have outgrown an apology. We either do not say it. Or, we do not mean it. You know the old saying that the best apology is changed behavior. But even before we get to that point, it begins from these words rolling from our lips. I am sorry. You can be sorry that someone is hurting. You can be sorry that someone misunderstood what you said. The important this is say it. Give clarifications. Make adjustments. Be open. Be vulnerable and move on. It’s quite the easy procedure.
If you follow these 3 steps, you should be well on your way to a greater level of communication and intimacy in your relationship. When you are polite, you will typically be met with kindness in return. If you have tools that are agreeable to both of you prior to a heated discussion, you probably diminished the intensity by at least a third. And it’s okay to say I’m sorry and be vulnerable. If we remain closed off, the best we can expect is a connection of small progress and shallow communication. And if you are still reading this. I am guessing you want more from your relationship, Click here for more information.