Romantic relationships involve two people who bring their expectations, life history and communication skills into the mix. Many believe that good communication merely means talking. However, this is a common myth as effective communication entails much more. A lack of skills can destroy a relationship between an individual and their significant other. Learning and practicing new techniques ensures longevity.
Listening and absorbing what the other person is conveying becomes difficult during a heated discussion. In an effort to be heard, couples also often talk over each other while not taking the time to really listen. One person may stop talking. However, their mind continues thinking of things that they want to say. In effect, it becomes impossible to listen. There is a solution to the problem. When either member of the couple makes a statement, the other person should immediately rephrase what was just said. This method helps slow the mind and increases the chances of actually comprehending what the other person is trying to express.
For a variety of different reasons, some people are not open with others. They may have endured past hurts, not fully understand their personal needs or simply not know how to express themselves to effectively. However, when in a relationship, cloaking emotions or pretending everything is alright when something is not only creates obstacles. Though individuals may possibly experience disappointment or emotional pain, without being honest and vulnerable in a particular situation, the relationship cannot grow. When both parties in a couple agree to let their guard down, be honest and open, there is a greater degree of reliance and trust, which brings a couple closer.
Communication involves more than spoken words. The physical distance between two people during a conversation, voice tone, the level of eye contact and body language are all part of communication. Couples must take the time to learn and understand their partner's nonverbal cues in order to accurately assess the message that the other person is attempting to express. Some common cues include:
• Avoiding eye contact can mean that the other person is ashamed, lying or simply not interested in hearing what is being said.
• Folded arms typically represents someone who is feeling defensive or who has shut down.
• Aggressive language or louder vocal tones generally indicates that a person is expressing emotions that may include anger, excitement or pain. Aggression may also suggest that the other partner does not feel that they are being heard.
Stay in the Present
It is not unusual for people involved in a heated argument to bring up past disappointments or mistakes. Stay in the present and stick to the topic being discussed. Take time to cool down and revisit the topic if needed.