We’ve all heard that open communication is the key to a good relationship. But, do we really know what that means? What’s the difference between open communication and simply talking to our mate about our day to day lives? Here are some keys to using communication to make your relationship work.
- Don’t assume that your partner knows how you feel – This is one of men’s pet peeves about women – we don’t tell them what we want. When we assume that our partner can read our thoughts or feelings, we set ourselves up to be disappointed when they don’t respond the way we would like. Tell your partner how you feel, and even be willing to tell them how you need them to respond when necessary.
- Be a good listener – When your partner talks to you, really listen to what they’re saying. If you are immediately defensive or dismissive with your partner when they try to address an issue, they will begin to believe that you don’t value their feelings and that talking to you is fruitless.
- Don’t bottle things up inside- Address issues when they arise. I know this is easier said than done. Fear of the reaction we might get when we bring up something unpleasant is the biggest reason we avoid it. But, when we hold things in, we create tension and frustration, which makes us more likely to get angry when we finally do discuss the situation with our partner. Talking about issues when they come up helps us to keep the issues in perspective and avoid tension and frustration.