Communication will make or break your relationship. Even if you are incredibly compatible as individuals, you're going to have issues if you can't become compatible communicators. Like most behaviors, we tend to model our communication methods on our family's habits when we were growing up.
My family, for example, had terrible communication skills. The unwritten rule seemed to be that my father was the only one allowed to yell and scream. He would have flashes of anger and then we would all move on to laugh and have fun as if nothing had happened. As adults, my brother, sister and I confronted him about his flashes of rage. "That is just my personality," he explained. Well, anger is not a personality.
If your family of origin lacked the tools needed for healthy communication you don't have to. There's a wealth of positive information right at our fingertips. As long as you are your partner are willing to stay "in conversation," almost anything can be resolved.
Here are some tools for better communication:
Whenever we're Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, we are most vulnerable. Healthy communication with another human being can take work until it becomes second nature. Stop and take care of yourself before attempting to communicate with your partner if you're feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Otherwise, you could easily find yourself triggered into reacting from the worst part of yourself, not the best.
N.V.C. is Nonviolent Communication. It's also known as Compassionate Communication because the Center for Nonviolent Communication teaches you how to express yourself honestly without attacking or blaming your partner. Their theory is that we only resort to anger or violence when we don't know how to access compassion. You can begin to practice this model by feeling empathy for your beloved in any given situation.
Venus vs. Mars.
Who can forget John Gray's insistence that " Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus ?" In Gray's method of communication, he suggests that the "battle of the sexes" stems from our conflicting communication style. Gray warns men not to be judgmental or dismissive of our feelings. On the other hand, Gray also teaches that women can come across as blaming and critical of the man in our lives when we're just trying to express how we feel.
Don't assume that just because you and your mate both speak English that you speak the same language. In the groundbreaking book, " The Five Love Languages ," Gary Chapman explains that we each have a different way that we perceive love. That's our love language. Once you know whether your partner reads love as gifts or physical affection, you can undoubtedly up your communication game.
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