Have you been madly in love with someone only to find it is impossible to get along in a harmonious way? Many of us have, and I see people with this issue in my treatment rooms every week.
In the beginning of a relationship many times we are very polite and guarded, not wanting to do anything to upset the potential we are feeling. If something is bothering us about the other person we let it slide, but this cannot be sustained, and pretty soon things start getting ugly. Moods change, our resentment for our partners behaviour comes seeping through and the whole thing just becomes too much hard work. But because of how we felt in the beginning we don’t give up and here in sets a long road ahead of difficult times for both parties.
So what it the answer?
One word – Communication.
What are some of the ways to improve our communication skills?
Here are 6 points that you can start working on today.
1. Accept them. Know that to communicate effectively we must first accept that the other person may not think in the same way we do, or may not value the same things. This does not make them wrong, just different. By being open to accepting this fact paves the way for positive relationship.
2. Take responsibility for your reactions and feelings. When you are upset about something the other has done, going into blame or attack simply doesn’t work as this will naturally cause the other respond defensively, hence creating an argument. For example, if you come home from work and see a huge pile of unwashed dishes in the sink, flying off the handle will not support constructive change. First, endeavour to accept that it has happened and if you have been quite triggered and can feel anger rising, take time out to regulate your emotions, as to try and discuss the situation when you are in an emotionally ‘flooded’ state will not go well to say the least.
3. Be open to understanding. Through being sensitive and perceptive to your partners needs you are able to gain a deeper understanding of what makes them tick and how you can potentially work together. This does not mean you need to lower your standards, but through understanding you can be aware of what you can compromise on to support a harmonious relationship.
4. Take time to really listen. Many times one can find they are thinking about how they are going to respond before the other has finished speaking. How is it possible to completely understand your partner without giving them the time and space to fully express?
5. Love is an action. Remember that your body language and movements actually communicate quite clearly what you are feeling. Take time to take a breath and make a conscious choice to be in an energy that is true to who you are. By being responsible for the energy you are in will make a huge difference to how you communicate and can transform all your relationships. Love is most powerfully expressed through movements not words. Being gentle and tender says ‘I love you and I also love me’.
6. Be honest. It is so important to not only be honest with our partner but also with ourselves. By letting our guard down and expressing truthfully, our relationships can one of growth and evolvement for both of you rather than the stagnation of living a lie.
Kate Chorley is an experienced psychotherapist and couples counsellor. To find out more contact here or call 0402134097