The following blog post is an excerpt from a “super blog” available on our website titled “The Importance of Communication.” This is a very detailed and lengthy post focusing on methods of improving communication that you can integrate into your own relationship, whether you are married, dating, or engaged. Happy reading!
Intro – Is There Something Wrong?
Here at the Vaughan Relationship Centre, we are no stranger to virtually any kind of problem you might find in a relationship. We see it all – cases of minor intimacy troubles, negative situations involving a controlling spouse, cheating partners, and of course more serious problems involving cases of abuse. Through all of the scenarios we support and counsel people in, there is a common theme we see all the time. That theme is the lacking of constructive communication between the parties involved.
Put simply, communication is the single most important aspect of any relationship (not just romantic ones). A lack of communication is often the downfall of many couples, and the attempt to introduce quality, guided communication is something that often saves relationships. It’s a powerful tool – so powerful, in fact, that we at the Vaughan Relationship Centre have decided to produce a sort of “super-blog” centring on the importance of proper communication in relationships.
To do this, we have compiled several of our previous blog posts into a single article. Our hope is to produce a resource which can provide some assistance to those who feel they need help in their current relationship. Maybe there is a certain section that pertains to you more than others – or maybe all of these sections provide equal value to you. Either way, we encourage you to read on to learn more about how important genuine, thoughtful communication in relationships is.
We will begin with an article which answers the question “how can we communicate better?”. Enjoy the read, and remember – Vaughan Relationship Centre is here to help you through any of your relationship struggles. We encourage you to contact us today if you are experiencing any of the problems discussed below.
How Can We Communicate Better?
In any relationship, communication is key. If you aren’t willing to be open and transparent with your partner, it will invariably result in tension and unwanted stresses that could poison your bond with one another. It all boils down to finding the right time, attitude, body language, and mutual respect when conversing with one another. Everything from a wink to a compliment can impact how your significant other interprets your communication with them, but we’ve boiled the essential steps down to a few crucial points.
If you consistently prattle on and ignore the attempts of your partner to have a say in the matter at hand, you are essentially making them feel unwanted. Regardless of whether you’ve been together for five or fifty years, it is vital that you recognize when to simply stop talking or stop forcing your point when communicating. Even your body language, such as rolling your eyes, pacing, or sighing, plays a role in how your partner perceives you to be feeling. If both of you learn to take the time to stop and allow for the other person to provide their input without exhibiting impatience or a negative attitude, it conveys the sense that both of you are both allowing for open and fair communication.
Before either of you go on a frustrated tirade or muddle a half-attempted response that could come across as lazy or uncaring, simply think. Take the time to delicately process what you intend to communicate to your partner, and consider whether or not it is the ideal situation to express it. Was it the way your partner spoke or reacted to something that made you feel the need to respond the way you intended to? In order to achieve a better level of communication with one another, you each must first learn how to explain your feelings to yourselves before expressing them outwardly. There’s nothing wrong with being thoughtful and composed — rather, it can help a relationship blossom into something extraordinary, whereas attacking and being dishonest can make things worse.
When you’ve said your piece and have stopped, you then need to lend an equal and respectful level of attentiveness towards what your partner is saying or expressing. It’s only fair that you both practice this and develop it into a habit that will, in turn, bolster your communicativeness with one another. Look your partner in the eyes, be sensitive to their feelings, and never show disinterest or a lack of care when they are speaking, for this will most certainly spell trouble. The more you learn to take the time to truly listen to one another, the deeper of an understanding you’ll both develop, which can make it easier to solve disputes amicably and tenderly. This helps to minimize drama and miscommunication, which in itself can lead to tension and fragmentation later on down the road.
In the event that the previously outlined steps don’t work, the two of you need to mutually agree upon whether or not you want to communicate better with one another. If so, take the time to visit a highly qualified and knowledgeable couples counsellor, who will work closely with both of you as a mediator to help address the root of the problem and how to best expand your communicative effectiveness. They will provide special techniques and thoughtful guidance after analyzing how a couple works together to maintain communication with one another, and they can act as a third set of eyes that more accurately identifies what the problem really is and how to best rectify it. Therapists will also encourage the two of you to grow your relationship and form a tighter bond, which will undoubtedly stem from better communication with one another.
If you don’t communicate properly with someone, they may become confused, frustrated, angry, or disinterested. Sending mixed signals to one another in a relationship is a common side effect of poor communication, but thankfully this can be reversed with awareness, mutual respect, sincerity, and attentiveness.
After reading the above article, ask yourself if you or your partner are lacking in any of these basic communication strategies. Chances are, you are without even realizing it. And that’s okay! It often takes a reminder or two for us to latch onto these habits and use them every day. Before you know it, these habits will become routine, and you won’t even know that you’re putting in any extra effort.
Without the use of proper communication and beneficial habits like the one above, we may feel sad, unwanted, unheard, and even angry. If you do feel this way, it’s important that you try your best to manage these feelings as you push to the root of the problem.
Continued on the Vaughan Relationship Centre website here.