Do you have bad habits that interfere with your communication?
Do you find yourself reacting before you have had time to think about how you might want to respond? Do you find that your partner can always bring out the worst in you? When relationship patterns develop over time it takes hard work to change them. The way we communicate is intimately tied to our emotional sensitivity. When we are hurt in relationships and we keep retaliating or shutting down these hurts don't get repaired. Bad habits develop out of being hurt and having bad role models. So the ways we have learned to communicate or hide parts of our self are well worn habits.
Four ways communication is destructive to relationships
Perhaps your discussions easily escalate into disrespectful finger pointing, blaming, and name calling? Making it difficult for you ever to resolve issues or come up with solutions. Or perhaps you just avoid ever talking about touchy subjects to the point where you feel you don't have a connection?
Many of you may feel that your partner just doesn't understand you and the more you try to explain yourself the worse it gets. It is easy to give up trying to communicate and end up letting feelings of frustration and hurt go unspoken. Communication takes effort and commitment to and even though it may seem a huge task it can be done.
Good communication requires respect, openness, clarity and persistence
In Therapy I work with couples on the following communication issues
- Learning to manage emotional reactions. This is one of the most common ways that people interrupt communication. Feelings of anger, hurt and frustration need to be soothed and calmed down before discussing important issues.
- Learn to deal with your Projections, assumptions and sensitivities. Communication is clouded by these processes.
- Learn about typical bad habits. Whining, blaming, being vague, criticising, explaining, justifying, and stonewalling are all examples of bad habits.
- Identifying what you want from each other. Learning to be clear, deal with one thing at a time, and complete the conversation.
- Understanding what the communication symbolizes for each other.
- Learning to be curious about what your partner is saying and listening more deeply.
- Learning that respect acknowledges your partner's perspective and that no-one has a corner on being 'right'.