Better Communication takes Skill but not Impossible, the rewards are well worth it.
Communicating with your spouse and good communication consists of ASSERTIVENESS and ACTIVE LISTENING. If you want your partner to communicate with you on a level that feels respectful and connected, try these two positive exercises. Once you become more comfortable with this level of communication it will become as natural without even thinking about it.
To start with assertiveness, using polite phrases as “please”, and “thank you” will up the level of your dialogue bringing in a tone of mutual respect.
Assertiveness is the ability to share how you feel openly and ask for what you need in your relationship. Often times, couples get into a cycle of criticism and defense, criticism is another form of asking for what you need. “I have asked you seven times to throw out the garbage at night, what’s wrong with you, why can’t you just do what I ask without me having to beg!” What is really being conveyed is, “ If you did your part in the household it would make me feel that you are part of our relationship and you care about US.”
Unfortunately, without the ability to assert it ends up becoming a demand, and this is what spirals into a conflict and ultimately a disconnect.
Active Listening, is the art of listening, it is a learned skill. If you did not grow up in a home where active listening was the norm, then it’s something you will need to learn now. Active listening is, yes, listening but with an openness, without interruption, without assumption, agenda and without defense. He says, “ I feel that when I get home you don’t seem to be happy to see me, and that makes me wonder if I should even come home at all,” He used his assertiveness and shared his feelings, now he continues with, when I do come home I would love it if you greeted me with a kiss and an acknowledgement, maybe ask me how my day went.”
The part that you play is , “ I heard you say that you felt that I wasn’t happy to see you when you got home, and you wonder if you should even come home, and what you need from me is acknowledgement, and even ask you how your day was, is that right?
He says, yes, exactly. Now, both of you agree on the new course of action. Hopefully the next day and many days and years after this exchange of need and delivery becomes the new norm.
As an example of assertiveness and active listening couples can create a culture of respectful, mature communication, therefore deepening their intimacy and relationship.
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