Elf wrote:Got it from a friend..worth a read..
Consistent, healthy communication is vital for your relationships. It's like the heart in the human body. It's easy to see why really - if you don't talk about your feelings, how will your partner know how you feel? And if your partner doesn't know, how can he or she react properly?
There are some things to note for healthy communication though; some couples seem to communicate often but it doesn't help the relationship because they're just venting and not listening. Or they're presuming too much, or taking things too personally.
Start by learning to listen. Now, some people seem to do that, but what they're really doing is waiting for their chance to cut in and defend themselves. They often sit while the other person is talking, waiting for a space to jump into the conversation to defend their actions, explain themselves, or explode in anger.
What you should do is listen actively and emphatically to your partner. Watch the facial expressions, the body language. Learn to listen to more than just the words since we often can't express what we're really trying to say in words alone.
Also, don't assume that you understand what your partner is trying to say. Ask for clarification. Sometimes, it can seem as though your partner is being sarcastic or insulting, or making a cruel joke about you, but you're basically just being over-sensitive. If you're not sure, ask. Very often, you'll find that you were off the mark completely. And trust your partner's clarification. If you can't trust your partner, then the relationship is doomed anyway.
Also, words have different meanings for different people. Some people say "interesting" when they mean "I think it's awful but I don't want to hurt your feelings". Learn to remember how your partner uses certain words or tones and what he or she is trying to convey. Take the time to study what he or she means by saying certain things. This will make your sharing experience much more pleasant.
There are certain topics that may trigger a fight-or-flight reaction. Sometimes in sharing you might bring up topics or feelings that scare your partner and put them into a flight situation where they close-up and avoid sharing or it might be something that touches a painful memory and they get into a defensive mode. Being aware of these triggers helps you learn how to either carefully back off or gently probe for answers.
Yes, healthy communication is tough, but if you're serious about making your relationship work, few things are more important.
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