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How to Communicate in a Relatioship
6 December, 1996
The hardest skill to master in order to maintain a successful, loving
relationship is communication. Being unable to express one’s thoughts clearly
and accurately is a heavy burden to bear when trying to hold a conversation. It
often causes misunderstandings and unnessary arguments. Plainly expressing one’s
thoughts is a lesson that many do not learn. The staggering number divorces in
recent years may be the effect of ill-communication. Even with all the
conveyances of modern day (cellar phones, modems, pagers), important ideas,
somehow are not being expressed. In a relationship one can easily misinterpret
a statement and become upset. Openly expressing full thoughts, and carefully
listening to what your mate is saying are two worthy and helpful tips on holding
up the communication bridge.
Many times, people become frustrated at their partner’s lack of
understanding. Unfortunately, no one can read minds. That fact makes it of the
utmost importance to be able to let your mate in on what you are thinking. How
can he or she possibly do what you want them to do if he or she does not know
what it is that you are wanting. Always present thoughts and ideas as clearly as
Sarcasm is often a pitfall for communication. When a person states an
idea one way but means it in a totally different way, it is no wonder that he or
she will be misunderstood. With just a slight change in the tone of voice, which
many times may go unnoticed, the sarcasm might lose its’ humorous connotations
and accidentally become hurtful.
This is also true with facial expressions. They can be misinterpreted
and then become a stumbling block for the rest of the conversation. When
talking with your partner keep in mind that 75% of what we communicate is body
language. Be careful not to imply anything with facial expressions or other body
language that you do not intend.
Expressing full, complete, ideas are extremely important. If you are
mad, tell your partner that you are and tell him or her the reason of the
aggravation. If you express an emotion, be ready to describe it and expose
its’ cause. It is important that you have enough trust in your partner that you
can tell him or her anything.
?There is much to be said about a good listener. They are kind,
compassionate, and humble.? The ability to listen to someone and fully
understand him or her is definitely a talent. Such a talent is admirable. If a
healthy and fruitful relationship is the goal its’ members should strive to
become better listeners. There is much benefit in such a skill.
In order to be a good listener a person has to be willing to wait till
the speaker is finished speaking to respond. A good listener cannot assume
anything. This skill does not allow the listener to formulate arguments while
listening. You must give the speaker your complete attention.
To Many times when people have arguments or even mere conversations they
constantly interrupt each other. This makes it difficult to present complete
ideas. When someone interrupts you with a statement you will probably respond to
that statement because it has deterred your focus to a different point. When you
respond to the other person’s interrupting statement, it makes it much harder
for that person to understand what it is that you are trying to say. You lose
the chance to explain yourself completely when you are interrupted and therefore
interruption becomes a break in the bridge of communication.
Remember the saying, ?Assumption makes an ass out of you and me?? That
phrase is particularly true when it applied to communicating. Many times a
listener will listen ?between the lines? and misinterpret the speaker. Assuming
a speaker’s subject or purpose causes a collapse in communication that is
painstakingly hard to correct, taking valuable tine and energy.
Formulating arguments and/or responses to a speaker’s statements
requires time. The time, however should not be the time during which your
partner is speaking. Your partner deserves your complete attention. If you wait
to hear the speaker’s full thought and can more accurately respond to him or her.
To successfully uphold the bridge of communication in a relationship,
partners most both be willing to become better at expressing themselves
completely and thoroughly, and to try harder at becoming a
better listener. This will take time and practice, but with persistence the
skills will develop. Communication is the key in relationships. Whether the
relationship will be a success or a total disaster depends heavily on the
partners’ communication skills.
I have presented a number of valuable tools that can drastically help
communication in a relationship. I have laid out specific instructions on how to
listen and how to express yourself in ways that do not confuse you or your
partner. Please heed my advice and uphold the priceless bridge of communication.
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