Did you know that lack of communication is the number one reason that causes couples to split? Here are 5 common unhealthy communication habits to avoid as well as tips to work through them.
How many times have you caught yourself saying YES instead of saying NO because you wanted to please your partner or because you were scared of feeling unloved, judged and/or unappreciated?
What to do instead: Speak your heart. Be honest and tell your partner how you feel and what you think. This is very important to help that person support you in getting what you need. It's hard to always do what makes us happy, so how can we expect our partner to do so if we are not open ?
2. Mismatched words and gestures.
Another big way we muddle communication is when our gestures and our feelings are out of sync. For example: we roll our eyes while we're verbally agreeing with something. This sends a judgmental message and causes our partner to become defensive.
What to do instead: Be a good listener. Sometimes, we take things so personally, get insecure, and feel unsafe when our partner is simply opening up to us. Maintain eye contact, listen carefully and pay attention to the needs they are trying to reveal.
3. Interrupting and blaming.
One thing we may really enjoy is analyzing our partner before they figure out how they feel. We interrupt the conversation because we believe we got it right and we jump immediately to the next question.
Sound familiar? :)
What to do instead: Pause and shift your attention to your breath. Start counting your inhales and exhales and repeat as needed. What you will be doing is reducing your anxiety and shifting your mind from the attitude of FIXING them to MMM THIS IS INTERESTING, how can I support you?
4. Using a negative tone.
You may not realize this, but changing the pitch and the tone of your voice can change the entire meaning of your message. One way your energy is transferred is through tone and it's very easy for anyone, including your partner to feel it. It's really about how you say your message and not what you say.
What to do instead: This may sound silly, but it's very helpful to record yourself when you are happy, sad, and angry. Notice the difference in how you say things in all three cases. Your tone reveals what is going on within you, so learn to work with your emotions and talk to your partner about how you feel instead of giving a conflicting message makes everyone angry.
Many of us have this habit of comparing pains with others, including our partner. It often appears when we're trying to make a decision or when we're trying to talk about our day. For example the conversation goes like this:
Person A: Hi Honey, How was your day?
Person B: My day was so hard and I had to deal with my boss’s negative mood.
Person A: Oh, if you think your day is bad, mine was so much worse.
Person B: Well, I had a bad day, too. You don’t even understand or try to listen to what I say. It is not only about how you feel.
And then the argument starts.
Honestly, Is it fair to compare feelings, pain and struggles?
What to do instead: Pain is not a competition. Pause, listen, and make eye contact when your partner is trying to open up and talk about how they feel. No one needs to win as you are both equal and your partner’s happiness will affect yours. Work together as one team to support, love and be there for each other.
Healthy communication is KEY to having a successful relationship. If you are critical towards yourself, then you will be towards your partner; if you are judgemental and harsh towards your efforts then you will create a competition with your partner. So, I highly recommend that you would practice, practice and practice communicating in a very healthy way with yourself first so that you can reflect it in your relationship with your partner.
if you want to deepen your understanding of your partner, I want to encourage you to get the FREE Love Communication Kit that I have created. It will help you BOTH become better listeners, better communicators and most importantly, to get to know each other’s world on a much deeper, intimate and romantic level.