Communication is so important in relationships. Equally exchanging and expressing our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and fears properly to one another is no easy task but far too important to disregard. But if you find yourself constantly fighting, confused, or unsatisfied, you may be having a hard time with communication. I’m no expert with communication but here’s a few communication mistakes I’ve made along the way that you can hopefully you can learn from.
1) Hearing what you wanted to hear
Do you really hear what you’re partner says to you or do you hear what you want to hear? Are you jumping to conclusions? You may be making the mistake of not listening. And to really listen means really stop and pay attention to what the other person are saying and not just bits and pieces.
Pay attention to your partner. Don’t take what they are saying out of context. You don’t have the right to hear what you want to hear.
2) Being disrespectful
My nickname is Petty Queen. I can throw some jabs with my words if I deem necessary (I know. I’m working on it). It’s okay to disagree. It’s okay if you don’t always win an argument. But respect your partner and their thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. Don’t use their intimate self as a weapon against them.
When I felt the need to become disrespectful, a “nerve” was pushed whether it was on purpose or not. Don’t make your responses personal. Talk about the behavior and not the person. Honestly, there were times when I didn’t even know that certain subjects were a “nerve” until we addressed them. But what grad school has taught me that anger or aggressive behavior is expressed to “protect” another emotion such as fear, frustration, pain, or sadness. So before you start poppin’ off a simple “I feel (fill in the blank with an emotion) when you (fill in the blank with their action) because (fill in the blank with why do you feel that emotion), catch yourself and objectively look at what’s really at play here.
3) Unequal exchange
Some people don’t like to talk about their emotions or feelings at all even when you try so hard to probe, whereas others won’t stop talking about theirs. I’ve recently learned a lesson; communication requires balance. It’s an equal exchange. But it’s up to you to determine what is equal. Oversharing can make you vulnerable to heartbreak because you may find yourself in a relationship with a person you barely know because you did all the talking and they did all of the listening. And someone who “under shares” may cause their partner to feel emotionally distant.
4) Mind reading or overthinking
Have you ever done this; instead of asking your partner about a concern of yours, you assumed what they would say and made a decision without them? Then later you resent them because your assumption was wrong? Or they resented you because you did not ask? Yep, me too.
If you are unsure about how your partner will react to something, let them react to it. Learn about them. Assuming will make an ass out of you. Every. Single. Time.
Whether it’s with your partner, friend, parent, sibling, supervisor, or McDonald’s drive thru, communication is tough, but not something we can’t overcome.
“I’m Just Saying..”