When Your Relationship Communication Skills Suck
I think most of us can agree that relationships are not always smooth sailing. Some are great, some are mediocre, and some are just plain terrible. There are many reasons and many factors that play a role, but a lack of communication skills is a common reason.
You’ve got people who don’t like to talk about issues, those that are afraid to express their feelings, those that pretend there are no issues, and those that scream about their issues. Then when some do communicate about an issue, they’re using negative resolution skills like the silent treatment, or the “I’m out of here”, slamming the door treatment.
With the divorce and break-up rate being so high, I think that every person ought to be aware of the importance of open communication in a relationship. So often we hold things until we want to explode or harp on little things that really aren’t that big of a deal.
What’s Your Communication Style?
Communication styles vary, so it is wise to gauge yours and your partner’s style so that you can be aware of potential pitfalls. For example, women tend to reveal their emotions to their partner just to inform them, but to the man it sounds a lot like a complaint. The woman may just want to be heard and acknowledged, but the man will tend to want to fix the problem. He may suggest this or that when all she really wants is to be heard and affirmed. A simple, “Honey, I am sorry that you are feeling that way. Is there anything I can do? Come here and let me give you a hug” nine out of ten times would suffice.
We tend to complicate things. I know for myself it can be extremely hard for me to voice my feelings to my partner out of fear of conflict. I tend to stuff things and let multiple things build up. This isn’t a good thing.
Communication Skills Books
I suggest reading books that address communication skills in relationships and heed the advice and techniques given. A couple good books include:
- “Saying What’s Real: 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success” by Susan M. Campbell
- “Love Is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive Therapy” by Aaron T. Beck
I want to see relationships and marriages thrive. I know that communication skills can be improved immensely with the right attitude and tools. I can vouch for myself that I have come a long way through the years and will continue to improve in this area.
You can too!