5 Secrets Of Effective Communication In Marriage
“Communication must be HOT (Honest, Open, and Two-way).” – Dan Oswald
I often hear couples say “We just can’t communicate” or “We never agree on anything”. Most couples don’t realize that the ability to effectively communicate with their spouse or partner is a skill that must be developed over time.
Listening skills and self-expression skills are both critical when it comes to effective communication. If you are unable to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs in an appropriate manner or if you are unable to empathize and connect with your hurting or frustrated spouse, your relationship may be headed for destruction.
Here are 5 techniques to help you improve your communication ASAP:
- The Disarming Technique: Find some truth in what your partner is saying, even if it seems totally unreasonable or unfair. If you feel that your partner or spouse is always wrong, a counsellor may be able to provide a more balanced perspective…………
- Empathy: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see the world through his/her eyes. You can show empathy by paraphrasing your partner’s words, which lets them know that you have heard and understood the message they are trying to convey. You can also show empathy by acknowledging how he/she is probably feeling. For example, “I understand you must be frustrated right now and I’m sorry you’re upset.”
- Inquiry: Ask gentle, probing questions to learn more about what the other person is thinking or feeling. Don’t assume. Ask and be open to feedback.
- Use “I feel” Statements: Try to avoid using statements that begin with “You”, which will likely cause your partner to become defensive or angry. For example, instead of saying “You never listen to me!” say “I feel ignored when you don’t give me eye contact while I’m speaking.” Focus on how you feel without using an accusatory tone……
- Stroking: Find something genuinely positive to say about the other person, even in the heat of battle. Convey an attitude of respect, even though you may feel very angry with your partner. Show your spouse that you still see good in them-even during times of anger or frustration.