Often times we wonder, “What would be the most important change I can make in the way I communicate with my partner?” That is a very important question. And the answer may sound simple yet to really put the solution into practice can be quite a challenge.
So…are you ready? The best communication strategy/skill that will have significant impact in your relationship is:
To clearly, directly and respectfully state what you want and desire.
I told you it would sound simple. Now comes the focus and work to put it into practice. Many of us do not know how to express our wants and desires in a manner that is clear, direct and respectful. In our families growing up we may not have experienced our parents or grandparents communicating in this way. Often we hint at what we want and hope our spouse will “get” our hints. Or we might have the misconception that our partner can read our minds and somehow automatically know what we want and desire. I have tried both of these tactics in my 40-year marriage and I can attest that neither of them has ever given me the outcomes I was hoping for.
Let’s look at hinting and why we might be hinting instead of speaking clearly and directly. Perhaps we have some fears or insecurities. Maybe we are afraid our spouse will not agree or not understand or think we are crazy or…you fill in the blank. Maybe that is what was modeled for us growing up. Maybe we are “playing games” because we have some unresolved resentments we have not talked about. Whatever the reason, hinting will not be helpful in having healthy communication.
As far as our partner being able to read our minds and know what we want…well, here is the deal; if the words do not come out of our mouths and go into the other person’s ear, they are not able to know what we want. They might try to guess and maybe be right some of the time. In the past I have thought and have heard from many people, “If I have to tell my spouse what I want then it does not mean anything. They should just know what I want and desire.” This is one of the biggest misconceptions of communication!
For communication in your relationship to become what you have dreamed it could be, begin by thinking about what it is you truly want and desire. Then think about how you will express that want and desire to your partner clearly and directly and respectfully. This is a behavior everyone has the ability to learn. Sometimes we need to first unlearn some bad communication habits to put the new and improved clear, direct and respectful words into practice. It will take effort and awareness and be so worth it!
For communication help in your relationship call or email me –
Carma Kuhn at 321-251-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org