Communication problems in relationships are common. No matter how great you and your sweetie get along, you’re bound to run into some miscommunication somewhere along the line. The good news is, with the right approach, these problems are easy to solve.
Pray before you say!
For the spiritual couple, you should be in the habit of asking God for help on a regular basis. You’re about to talk with the person you’re connected to the most, so ask the Lord of the worlds to make the conversation be productive and smooth. “If you ask, ask God. If you seek help, seek help from God.”
When you’ve been together for a while, you might start to think you know what your partner is going to say. Unless you have ESP, though, you’ll get a lot further by actually hearing your partner out. When your sweetie tells you something, every now and then repeat what was said. “You would like so and so…” This accomplishes two things. One, if there was some missuderstanding of what was said, it gives your sweetie a chance to explain. Two, it lets your partner know you were paying attention.
Release the need for blame!
When one of you has a problem, the relationship has a problem. You must keep in mind that you’re a team. Mind you, each of you have strengths the other one doesn’t have, but when you win, you win as a team, and when you lose you lose as a team. This will allow you to work things out in a peaceful manner. Instead of going around in circles trying to decide whose fault it is, focus on the solution.
Also, avoid generalizations and stick to specific issues. For instance, “When I see you flirt with other people it hurts me.” Don’t use phrases like, “You’re making me miserable.” Or, “You’re frustrating me.” Deal with the specific issues that need to be addressed.
Stick to the facts!
When trying to talk over problems in relationships, don’t bring up anything you can’t prove. Instead, stay with what can’t be argued like your own feelings and what your partner already agrees they do. For example, saying, “I was embarrassed when you told Dave you don’t think I should ask for a raise.” That can’t be argued because you felt embarrassed. Be frank, but kind! Remember the tradition, “Kindness has never been added to a thing except it made it better.” This applies to disagreements with your sweetie.
You’re not doing anyone any favors by taking a put up and shut up attitude to problems in relationships. All you end up doing is allowing wounds to fester and they can eventually reach the point where they’ll never heal. Instead, speak your mind when you have a problem, but do so with gentleness, kindness, and respect.
Be a friend, not a coach!
Chances are, your partner isn’t with you because they’re hoping you can correct all their bad habits and personality flaws. You’re not their parent, teacher, coach, or boss. You’re their friend and lover.
You may think you’re giving constructive criticism, but your partner might think your love or respect for them has diminished because of this one little flaw they have. Instead of criticizing, encourage improvement by giving your partner some positive feedback when they do something you really like.
There, that doesn’t sound too hard does it? These techniques may be simple, but they really do work to solve communication problems in relationships. Give them a try.
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