Relationships live and die by communication. If you can’t communicate effectively, your relationships will likely die, or, at the very least, they won’t really be fulfilling like they should be.
But sometimes it’s not easy to communicate openly. There may be fears of conflict or you might not think you have the right words to say. Sometimes we would rather just stuff things inside than bring them up.
I can’t stress it enough- in order to have happy, healthy relationships, you have to communicate, even when it’s hard and you know it will cause arguments. But why does it matter so much?
Communication builds trust.
Being able to openly talk about things creates a safe place. Communicating clearly and often leads to commitment and unity. If you know that someone is always going to speak up when he needs to, you will trust that nothing is being kept hidden.
“Trust is a choice to be available, vulnerable and transparent in a relationship, because the person you’re trusting has proven worthy of your partnership through consistency in their honesty, integrity and dependability.”
Rather than sitting in your misery, brooding about what’s upsetting you, talk about it. Communicate your feelings, and discuss both perspectives.
Communication creates healthy boundaries.
When you don’t share your needs and limits with those you love, boundaries get crossed! If your partner doesn’t know your boundaries, how can he be expected to respect them?
If large crowds affect you, and your partner is always insisting that you go with him to concerts or big parties, it’s up to you to communicate your needs to him. Otherwise, you will find yourself feeling uncomfortable in places you don’t want to be.
Talk about your boundaries openly and respectfully; do your best to express your feelings and the reasons for them.
Communication prevents assumptions and lessens conflict.
This is a big one! When you don’t communicate enough, your mind can become filled with assumptions. One of the biggest reasons for conflict is assumption.
You don’t know what your partner is feeling and thinking unless you hear it from his mouth. ASK! Change your words from, “You don’t really want to go to the movie, so we won’t go.” to “Do you want to go to the movie?” Even if you think you can read his mind, you can’t.
Too often, we filter everything through our own thoughts and feelings, and that can lead to some huge problems!
Communication embraces and works with emotional schema
When you enter into a relationship, you come with negative emotional patterns called schema- or what is more widely known as baggage. Things in your past affect your present, and those things tend to pop up during times of distress. Perhaps you struggle with a feeling or fear of abandonment, but your partner struggles with perfectionism, causing him to work long hours. You might find yourself feeling like he doesn’t want to be with you, and when this comes out in conversation, he might feel that your desire for him to work fewer hours means you don’t support him.
Do you see? You’re both coming from two very different frames of mind. Neither is against the other, but both are hurt by each other.
Talking openly about the things you’ve faced in your lives will create an environment of understanding. If he knows that abandonment is your fear, he can reframe his actions for you in a way that will help you avoid feeling like he’s choosing work over you.
Communication allows you to grow together.
As time passes, we all grow and change. Chances are pretty high that the person you’re with will be very different after many years have gone by; if you communicate those changes, you can learn and grow together.
Don’t be afraid to share your new thoughts and feelings; if your relationship is strong, positive changes will be welcome since you want your partner to become his best self.
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