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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Are Poor Communication Skills Harming Your Relationship? Part 2

Your relationship is important to your life. Communication skills can decide whether a relationship survives or falls apart. It’s important that we all learn to communicate effectively. This is the second part with more tips and advice that may help your relationship stay healthy and alive. If you followed part 1 and tried out those communication skills, I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Let me know. Right. Lets see what other skills we can add to our life, which will enrich our relationships.

Remember these communication skills are a way of life and it’s not just about using them when your relationship is in trouble. The more you use these communication skills the easier your relationship will become and you may begin to see less conflict, which is great. Don’t you think?

4. Stop fudging the situation.

I came across the word “fudging” and I loved it. I saw an article in the Telegraph news about a very famous politician fudging the issue. It’s the same in relationships that we over exaggerate situations and it’s a way of avoiding resolution of the real issue. Look, do you want to face up to your issues with communication? Or do you want to carry on as you are arguing and feeling the big hole getting deeper between you and your loved one. We have to face up to our own downfalls and that can be hard. I get that. Me too. It’s that “ouch” feeling and that down feeling that comes later when admitting you were wrong. But if your partner loves you, he or she will probably love you more for showing your vulnerability. There is nothing more annoying than someone being right all the time, which makes it a one-way relationship. So one way to avoid owning up to your own failings in the relationship is to throw “over the top statements” at your partner. “You always are mean to me.” “You ignore me all the time.” “ You never take me out somewhere I want to go.” Very often these statements are not true. Are you trying to say that you have a partner who is always mean to you, ignores you all the time and never takes you out somewhere you want to go? Then you have to ask why you are in this awful relationship in the first place. Agreed? And it’s very often a pile of fudge. It will just alienate your partner and they will shut down. He or she just cannot win when there is nowhere to go and nothing positive about them to work on. Don’t exaggerate or you may end up eating “fudge” on your own. 

5. Do Not Use Your Powerful Psychic Skills.

Why shouldn’t you use your mind blowing psychic skills in your relationship? Well, that gives you an advantage over your less powerful partner. Keep that for the stage when you are making lots of money reading people’s minds. I’m just kidding. Seriously, we do tend to think we know what our loved ones are thinking or feeling. “I know you did that to hurt me.” “ I know what you’re thinking, you think I’m stupid.” “You are punishing me because you were bullied at school. It’s not fair for you to blame me for your past.” I can just see your partner’s face looking at you incredulously and thinking wow, who are they talking about? Then they will just walk away very hurt as you shout: “ I knew you’d walk away from me?” Psychologically profiling a partner is scary and frightening to some people. We have to remember those are our feelings we are throwing out there.  It's not anything to do with your partner’s feelings at all. So throw off the headset and drop that CSI badge in the bin. This is a loving relationship with two people in it with feelings and thoughts that are each your own. Listen to your partner and ask them questions about their own thoughts and feelings. You may be surprised by what they have to say. Go back to part 1 and re-read the good listening skills tip. This will all come together for you.

6. Be a lover, not a scholar.

It’s worrying when we look through all the social academic articles that tell us the statistics about relationships. They decipher what is normal and what is abnormal in a relationship. Well, I don’t need an academic to tell me what feels good and what does not feel good. However, this is another way to win an argument with your partner. “Statistically 50% of marriages end up in divorce. If you carry on like this, that’s what will happen to us.” “Most couples don’t do that and I think we are not normal.” “I read in my magazine the other day that if you wear more aftershave or perfume than normal, then you statistically are having an affair.” Your partner: “I’m not having an affair.” You: “I knew it. Denial is another sign.” I hear him or her shout: “Help.” There is no right or wrong in relationships. We are not talking about abusive relationships here which are extremely wrong. We know that because they cause harm and may involve illegal acts. We are talking about a couple that has a problem to solve and just need to communicate in a positive way in order to resolve it. Keep it simple, throw the relationship magazine in the bin and trust your gut instincts as a couple together.

Relationships are not about being right or wrong. They are about being two individuals who came together because you connected and had some things in common. Be kind to each other. Isn’t that what love is about? See you soon with the final part of communication skills.

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