When I’m working with clients who are working on learning how to communicate effectively with their partners, one of the things I highlight first is the importance of empathy, like I explained above. But it definitely goes further than that.
In most arguments, the unspoken truth is that a person worries that they’re not good enough or that their partner cannot relate to their pain, and this is why it’s so important to foster a relationship where both people feel heard. So, if something is on your mind, it is very good to bring it up and to encourage your partner to do the same. The more you bury things away deep inside of you, the more likely they will be to boil up and explode later on when something else triggers you. Communication is definitely something that is developed over time and it must be maintained.
Now, when there is something on your mind that warrants a conversation with your significant other, the best thing to do is to adopt a positive mindset right away. Being positive and having positive intentions is absolutely crucial, and your partner will sense this.
If your partner is coming to you with an unpleasant conversation, another thing to keep in mind is that people tend to criticize their partners in the areas in which they have the greatest emotional needs.
So if you two can listen to each other with the intention of really understanding each other, you will give each other the blue print to help fill a void. Allow each other to talk a lot. Don’t condemn, criticize or complain, but rather confirm the validity of their emotions.
Be compassionate with each other. Remember that women talk about their problems to build an emotional connection and not necessarily to hear solutions, and men often argue for the right to be independent while women argue for the right to be heard.
How to improve communication skills when you’re upset about something
Controlling your emotions and communicating effectively is usually hardest when you’re just straight up mad about something. If something happened that upset you on a deep level, it comes as no surprise that it would be difficult to have a calm and collected conversation about it with your significant other, but the more you are able to do this, the better your relationship will become.
When something triggers you, start to train yourself to take a step back and not react right away. Our knee jerk reaction is usually to become defensive, but if you’re able to step away from the situation and take a moment to cool off, you’ll be able to approach it in a much more productive way. It’s also very important to practice detachment and understand that we can’t expect our partners to think and act the way we would or the way we would want them to.
Communication is key to getting on the same page and understanding how to respect and make each other happy, but sometimes a moment of distance is needed in order for there be room for effective communication. It’s also important to remember to not hold grudges or keep tabs on each time your partner did something that upset you.
In addition to that, there are so many things that we don’t think about when it comes to how the other person is feeling. For example, people who vent or complain often already know how to handle their situation, but they’re searching for a shoulder to lean on. They’re often just looking for someone to see and appreciate their struggle.