Menu

Heather Elizabeth King

Author of Dark Fiction

Communication!

It’s been a few months since my last post. There’s a good reason; I was finishing my novel, Skinwalker: A Remy Jones Adventure. I’m super happy with the finished product. As I type this, it’s under review with a NY publisher. Fingers crossed that he (and his assistant who’ll read it before the EIC even touches it) loves it.  


Before my blogging hiatus, I had started a series on relationships and what it takes to make them a success. I wrote about RESPECT, a key relationship ingredient that, without, relationships fail. People who stay together, despite the fact that they don’t respect each other, are visibly miserable.


Today the topic is COMMUNICATION


Like RESPECT, without COMMUNICATION, relationships fail. You HAVE to be able to talk with the person you’re with. That is so important I think I’ll say it again. You have to be able to talk with the person you’re with.


RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD WORK


Let me let you in on a little relationship secret. Relationships are hard work! After all the warm, fuzzy feelings fade and you realize the person you’re with isn’t God’s greatest gift to earth since sliced bread, you’re left facing a person with flaws and imperfections (just like you—in case you were thinking you didn’t have any!) It’s these flaws and imperfection that bring difficulties into relationships.


YOU’RE NOT ALONE


Talk to any couple who’ve been married over 20 years and I guarantee they’ll tell you they’ve been through tough times. Staying together doesn’t mean keeping your relationship trouble free. Or worse, it doesn’t mean pretending your relationship is trouble free, shoving your head in the sand and hoping if you ignore the issues long enough they’ll eventually go away. Any relationship that works; any couples who’ve stood the test of time have done so because they work though their problems. They know how to communicate.


COMMUNICATION? ALL SHE DOES IS TALK


Communication is more than talking. It’s being able to go to the person you’re with when there’s a problem and openly discuss it with them. Typically, these are problems that effect how you think about your partner. If something is going on in your relationship that’s making you want to distance yourself from the one you love, you need to talk ASAP! If the problem makes you pull away from your partner when they try to touch you, you need to talk. If you’re so angry with your partner that you can’t stand to look at them, you need to talk…NOW! If you don’t, an issue that could have been resolved will grow until you both find yourselves single.


COMMUNICATION HOW-TO


Let me preface this section with a disclaimer. I’m not a doctor or a trained professional, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what types of communication are effective and what types of communication are detrimental to the life of your relationship. These are common sense tips because, unfortunately, when we’re having relationship problems we’re not using common sense but our emotions.


So here they are, my top 3 ways to effective communication.


1.      Don’t accuse. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you accuse the person you’re with of wrongdoing the first thing they’re going to do is defend themselves. Once they go into defensive mode they’re not hearing what you say. All they know is that you’re making an accusation against them that they don’t think is true and they need to defend themselves.


 


Below I’ve included 2 examples of communication. One example is of good communication, the other is of bad communication.


Example 1: “Every time you’re in a bad mood you take it out on me.”


Example 2: “Yesterday when you came home from work you said some things that really hurt my feelings.”


            In this example, number 2 is definitely the way to go. Let your partner know you were hurt, but don’t do it in a way that makes them feel they need to defend themselves. You want them to hear what you have to say so they’ll be aware of the problem so the problem can be solved.


Nine times out of ten they don’t even know they’ve done something to hurt you. By telling them in a calm, non-accusatory way the two of you can work this issue out.


2.      Let your emotions settle. If the situation that has you angry at your partner has you so angry you can barely contain yourself, that isn’t the time to open a dialogue about the problem. Shouting is another method of bad communication that will indicate to your partner they need to defend themselves. You don’t have to shout to get your point across. In fact, if you shout I can almost guarantee you won’t get your point across. Wait a few hours to talk to your partner, let your emotions settle so you can have a calm, useful discussion. Shouting is counterproductive to resolving issues. Shouting at the person you love will only create more issues and more things to shout about.


3.      Forget right and wrong. The point of communication isn’t right or wrong. As said above, often the person doesn’t even realize they’ve done anything hurtful. If you get hung up on trying to be right, you’re missing the point. The point is to let your spouse know you’re hurting and why. Only after they know what has happened to upset you can they stop doing it.


On the other side of things, if your spouse comes to you to let you know you’ve hurt them, here are a few tips you should remember.


1.      Shut up and listen. If someone is coming to you to tell you you’ve done something to hurt them, shut up and listen to what they have to say. The fact that they’re coming to you at all means they care about the relationship and are doing what they can to keep things good. Going to someone you love and telling them you’re hurting isn’t easy, but it is courageous. I read a quote somewhere that was 100% dead on. (I’m paraphrasing) Don’t be mad when someone comes to you to talk, be worried when they don’t because that means they’ve stopped caring.  


2.      It’s about them, not you. Just because someone comes to you to tell you you’ve done something hurtful doesn’t mean now is your chance to tell them all the sucky things they’ve ever done to you. Your job is to listen, not do your best to turn things around to make them look like the bad guy. That will only lead to more problems.


     3.   Acknowledge their pain. That doesn’t mean you have to say you  were wrong. Often times when someone goes to their spouse with a grievance they want to have their pain acknowledged. If your spouse goes to you, acknowledge their pain. Tell them you never meant to hurt them. Saying this isn’t an admission of guilt (because you may not have meant any harm), but it tells your spouse that you’re sorry they were hurt and you never meant to hurt them. Nine times out of ten, that’s all they want to hear.

Good luck communicating!



  • How to Not Lose the "Me" When Becoming a "We" (psychologytoday.com)

  • How to build a strong relationship from the start (beinlovetoday.wordpress.com)

  • Communication (seniordating.org)

  • Communication Skills for Lifelong Relationships (sextisfaction.wordpress.com)

  • Signs That You Should Probably Move On (livecrylearn.wordpress.com)

  • Go Back

    Comment