Communication problems - Tips
Tips for coping with communication problems
Would you like some tips and advice how to deal with communication problems in your relationship?
This forum is a great place to:
- explore several tips.
- respond to tips / share your experience.
- share the tips that work for you.
What's your tip how to deal with communication problems?
Overview of tips
Tip 1 - Agree to disagree
You do not have to agree with each other. You can agree on that together. This can help to reduce the tendency to want to convince the other.
You can also get to know each others opinions in a relaxed way. Accept that the other is different than you and that it is also fine when you have different opinions.
Tip 2 - Formulate your annoyance positive - turn it into a wish
What annoys you about your partner?
Now try and formulate your annoyance in a positive way and turn it into a wish.
For example, when you are annoyed that he is again behind the computer the whole evening. You can say that you would like to spend some quality time together with him.
Tip 3 - Examine your longing
Always falling back into the same way of speaking? Blaming back and forth? Make sure you are aware when you start to feel angry.
Then take a break, do that in a 'safe' way. Say for example: I notice I start to feel angry, I'd like to stop this conversation for now. I promise I will get back to it.
Don't make the other responsible for solving your anger. Examine for yourself what made you angry and what is actually your longing and what is the blame. Come back to the conversation and try and discuss your longing.
Tip 4 - Practice daily with empathy
Do you live together for years now without any real connection and do you dread the years to come? Without emotional connection everything becomes dull: pleasure, friendship, love, sex....
Without an emotional connection, life becomes boring, also in the bedroom. Give yourself and your partner the chance and start even today with the magical effect of empathy. You will notice it works.
Every day 15 min.:
1. Agree who will talk about something that touched him/her and who will listen, open, honest, without interruptions or interpretations.
2. When everything is said, you can ask some questions to help to understand better the essence of what the other was trying to express. Avoid critical remarks, improvements or your own opinion.
3. Reformulate what you have understood to be the essence. Ask if you understood it right, as long as is necessary to be able to response emphatically with something like "Oh honey, that must have been very painful/sad/disturbing for you!"
Then take the hand of the person who was sharing or give each other a hug. So it is not about a practical solution, but about the feeling recognition. Experiment daily, 15 min a day.
Tip 5 - Create time for each other to communicate
Create time for each other to communicate
1) Communicate about the relationship problems
Set a time and place to talk about the problems you encounter. Nowadays many couples hardly find the time anymore to really talk. So you have to create it!
When you don't manage to talk about a problem without raising your voice, it might be an idea to talk in a public area. This could make that you can behave a bit more sensible.
2) Communicate about other things
Also talk with each other about other things that keep you busy. What makes you feel happy, what about your passions, your plans.
You can also communicate non-verbally. Take a walk together in nature, do something you both like, relax together, hug each other...
Tip 6 - Really listen to the other
Listen to the other
When someone is talking, many people are mainly busy thinking about what they are going to say themselves. They do not really listening to the other.
Try to have your attention with the one you listen to.
Tip 7 - Set your boundaries
Do you tend to always say yes to requests from others, because you want to please, while actually you do not want to? Then it is good to practice saying no and make space for something you do want.
Learn to say "no". Saying no doesn't have to be hard. You can always ask for time to think about it when you feel overwhelmed by a request from a colleague/ friend/ family member/ acquaintance/ .....
You do not have to make up excuses when you say no. Many people tend to cover their 'no' with excuses, little lies, or falsehoods. Keep it open and simple. If you don't feel like it or don't have time for it, you can simply say that.
The "broken recordplayer method" is very convenient when you have said no, but the other one is insisting. The only thing you have to do in this method, is to repeat your 'no' and the motivation for it. Like a recordplayer that is broken and keeps repeating the same part. This way you do not get seduced to discussions or making excuses.
Set your limit when somebody crosses them. You are the only one that can feel where your limit is.
When you don't allow yourself to say 'no', this can give you a lot of stress and tension.
Tip 8 - Every positive action influences daily things
When your relationship is in a valley, every annoyance can bring you further down.
Fortunately, the other way around is also true. Every positive action influences immediately the daily things. Try it, and see for yourself that the spiral will go up.
Tip 9 - Write each other a letter
It can be a support to write a letter to each other with all the annoyances. And with every annoyance a concrete wish to create something different.
Read each others letters only after a week and write a letter back with your proposal for change.
Tip 10 - Find a relationship counsellor
Are your experiencing communication problems in your relationship and could you use some support?
A relationship counsellor can help you.
Tip 12 - Stay honestly curious
Whatever you do, stay honestly curious.
In any case to yourself. Do you notice that you start to feel angry with your partner, you feel pressured, is he or she annoying you? Then, stay honestly curious to your partner. When your partner is very angry with you, tries to tie you down or treats you unjust, ask yourself: "What good reason does my partner - who is in essence a very loving human being - have, to do what he/she does? What longing would my partner have?"
Besides all the virtues every human being has, I belief that this virtue of curiosity is a very important one for a healthy relationship. So I hope you enjoy practicing with it!
Tip 13 - Make phone free hours
People that are often occupied with their smartphone, often have a less satisfying relationship then people who don't.
Recent research has shown that the feeling of a good connection immediately disappears when the person you talk to is continuously looking at his phone.
To avoid this, you can for example make phone free hours. For example during dinner or after 10 o'clock in the evening. If you do that, really put it out of sight!
Tip 14 - Make a connection
The people that have the most possibilities to start a love affair, are often not the best partners, but the ones that make the most connections.
Tip 15 - Don't assume anything
Don't assume anything. Sometimes we just assume a person understands something or we agree on things. Assumptions can cause a lot of problems.
It is really important to discuss all the important things and not just assume anything. So many people end up in a relationship with someone with whom they are completely incompatible because they never asked questions or discussed anything important.
So for example, if you are considering marrying someone, you might want to start talking about important things like whether you both want kids, what your priorities are, what you expect from each other and even some of the seemingly less important things like how do we do Christmas with each of our families.
Tip 16 - Just listen and give your attention
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention...
A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
( Rachel Naomi Remen)
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