What Is Communication?
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
~Author unknown, attributed to an 8-year-old named Jessica
- When you learn effective communication skills you are able to state your needs clearly without blame. And sometimes what sounds like criticism directed at you by your partner is probably more about their unmet needs rather than there being anything wrong with you. Learning to let go of taking things personally is a skill well worth learning.
- Effective communication skills involve listening with more empathy in order to understand your partner's point of view. There are two sides to every story.
- Effective communication comes about by practicing the art of active listening to ensure that what you think you heard is actually what was said and meant.
- Effective communication happens when you are able to clearly express your needs rather than using sarcasm or expecting your partner to be psychic.
- Effective communication happens when you take responsibility for your own feelings instead of blaming your partner. Learning to choose how you feel about situations is an important skill to learn.
- Effective communication encompasses the skill of negotiating effectively for win-win outcomes when differences of opinion or conflicting needs stand to get in the way.
- Effective communication is able to take place when you learn how to manage your own negative feelings of anger, rage, fear, anxiety, jealousy etc. Caring4Couples teaches this through Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
- Effective communication includes expressing gratitude and appreciation to your partner.
- Effective communication enables trust to develop by being open, honest and respectful.
- Effective communication involves stating what it is you want or need in a respectful, caring way to your partner without "putting them down" for not already providing it.
- Effective communication includes allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to allow for a more empowering conversation between you and your partner. Learning how to create safety by letting down defences is important for successful communication.
Is what you hear congruent with what you experience?
The popular saying "action speaks louder than words", holds true when it comes to effective communication between couples.
When a partner fails to follow through with the action/s to match the verbal communication, then lack of trust is the result along with possible anger, resentment, lack of safety and insecurity.