Do you find yourself getting stressed, frustrated, angry, upset or anxious when you communicate with your partner? And when was the last time you had a disagreement or a misunderstanding? Would you like to communicate in a way that builds a more fulfilling and harmonious relationship?
Why is effective communication so important?
Effective communication improves harmony between partners and creates greater synergy in a relationship. Research has also shown that anytime we have a pleasant experience it increases our immune system, while an unpleasant experience can reduce our immune system. So by making our communication more pleasant without the stress, anxiety, frustration, hurt or anger, we are also having a positive impact on our health and overall wellbeing.
How can we improve our communication?
Here are three ways to help you to avoid misunderstandings and disagreements in your relationship so that you can create greater harmony and fulfillment.
1. A difference of style
Often when we speak with our partner we find ourselves saying the same thing, only in a different way because we use different words. There are four major communication styles: visual (pictures), auditory (sounds), kinesthetic (feelings) and auditory digital (detail), and each one uses a different set of words. Most people use a combination of communication styles and some have a strong preference for one or two styles. In a relationship, when you tailor the words you use to match your partner’s preferred communication style, this will greatly assist them to clearly see, easily get in touch with and understand what you are saying. In turn, this will help to avoid disagreements.
2. Deliver your information appropriately
When was the last time you asked your partner “How was your day?” Did they give you a short answer like “fine” or perhaps they gave you so much information that you found yourself switching off and not listening to what they said. It is important to realize that some partners need a lot of detail before they can proceed with a task or make a decision so may ask you lots of questions. On the other hand, some partners simply need to be told the big picture and may therefore ask very few, if any, questions. Start becoming aware of the differences in your and your partner’s styles so that you give them the appropriate level of information.
3. Let go of past baggage
In addition to communicating more effectively with your partner, it is also important to let go of all the past baggage. Because to the extent that you still hold onto past hurts, fears, anger, rejection, betrayal, abandonment, unworthiness, etc you will keep having these “buttons” pushed in your current relationship until you have resolved them. Similarly, if you have beliefs around lack of self worth, being judged and fear of rejection, etc. and if these are left unresolved they can also trigger an overreaction to what you partner says or does.
Begin by being aware of the differences between you and your partner’s style, and using the above tips to be more effective in your communication. Then acknowledge any emotions and beliefs that are triggering an overreaction to your partner. One you are aware of these, the next step is to address these and create a healthier, happier and more fulfilling relationship. You can also apply the above tips to your professional relationships to improve your professional success.