How Did This Tension Creep Into Our Communication?
You used to have amazing conversations and non-verbal communication with your loved one. But now, just asking for help with the kids or even a compliment is taken in the wrong way.
And a simple problem turns into a war that seems to get worse the more you two talk.
How in the world did this happen? How did your best friend turn into this moody stranger who seems offended by every word that comes out of your mouth?
If you don’t figure out how to restore the line of communication with this person, the frustration and resentment you may feel is going to eat you alive!
So What Is Going On?
Here’s a few things to consider. One is that bad communication habits between the two of you may have set in. Instead of truly listening to each other, you or your partner may be making assumptions about what is being said, or applying motives to what is being shared instead of just taking the words communicated at face value.
This usually occurs when there is a history of disagreements and conflict that has gone unresolved and now define how the individuals relate to each other.
We may also bring past anger, pain and disappointment into current situations, making rational, clear communication almost impossible.
Why? Because the current issue really isn’t the only issue in the room. Each response and solution must not only address what’s being presented currently, but must also resolve 10,000 other unspoken problems under the surface!
So how do we get past the bad communication habits and unresolved issues?
Stay on topic. Though it may be difficult to resist the temptation to vent all of your frustrations in this moment, creating the communication habit of resolving one topic at a time will produce better outcomes and connection.
Seek a win-win solution. Expressing your concerns is important. But expressing them in a way that reflects your understanding of the other person’s concern will bring you closer to a resolution. There’s an old saying that says “a person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” You cannot force a person to your side. But you can influence them to see your perspective if they feel you get theirs.
Listen more than talk. Though it may seem like your perspective is not being voiced or considered, you’re actually setting the stage for your perspective to be heard. The more a person is allowed to share uninterrupted, the more incentive they will feel to allow the other person to share. And the person listening is in the position to gather additional information to either confirm or invalidate their own position. Know that the closer one is to the facts with solid information, the more empowered their position.
Avoid harsh beginnings. Harsh starts automatically puts the other on the defensive. Even if your perspective is valid, the other person’s ego won’t allow them to be bullied to your side of the issue.
Approaching the situation or complaint with a confirmation seeking question, or a statement of how you feel without projecting motives or blame on the other, will make them more receptive to considering their actions that triggered your upset. And if you are on the receiving end of a complaint or accusation, responding with facts instead of reacting with emotions usually will snuff the spark of disagreement before it turns into an inferno.
Timing is everything.
If a serious or consequential discussion is to be had, give yourself enough time to resolve the issue. If either of you are pressed for time, this adds a negative element to an already difficult situation. Pressure to resolve the issue before all the facts are laid out can lead to hurtful words fueled by emotion rather than careful thought. Make sure the other person has the time to talk. If not then, agree to a time that would work for both.
Test these strategies the next time you find communication difficult. If you want a different outcome, we need try different methods. Don’t give up. You got this!
Let Me Know Your Thoughts
Please comment below your thoughts on the blog above. I would love to hear your experiences or answer your questions. And other readers would also appreciate your perspective as well.
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