Many relationships encounter it at some point or another; in fact, many psychologists agree that it is one of the most common problems that romantic partners face.
We’re talking about bad communication skills.
Yelling when you would be better off listening. Getting caught up in proving a point instead of being concerned about solving an issue. Not being heard, or not speaking up at all.
There are a lot of ways that communication can break down. But the good news is that the same skills that led to your initial connection can help to rekindle a romance that is on the rocks because of faulty communication.
Let Go of Ego
We’re all guilty of it: accusing a partner of doing something wrong. While our accusation might be warranted, it doesn’t help with deepening our connection to our partner; instead, it puts him or her on the defensive.
Instead of making accusations, try to explain the way that it makes you feel to encounter the problems that are occurring because of your partner’s actions. And if you are the partner who is being accused of something, try to keep ego in check by acknowledging when you are at fault. In a healthy relationship, no one really wants to pick a fight – they just want to be acknowledged. By letting go of ego and listening to your partner’s side of the story, you can remain on the same side of the issue instead of making him or her feel cornered and defensive.
Don’t Get Sidetracked
Solving the problems that lead to communication breakdown as they arise is the most effective means of moving forward and improving your communication skills as a couple. Without effective communication, couples are at risk of drifting apart. Embrace your differences or hang-ups when you are both in a neutral state of mind. Starting a discussion about one issue and then piling on more problems or examples is an ineffective way to solve problems.
Instead, communicate with each other about discrepancies at a time when you are getting along. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it can help each party get a sense of the other’s perspective and see their partner as just that: not a problem, but a partner.
Perhaps the best way to keep communication open and flowing in your relationship is to create an environment that stimulates honesty, trust, and an open floor for the exchange of ideas. Often, in relationships, we can get caught up in attempting to be heard and forget to listen. Or, we can focus on the negative and forget to reinstate the good. Keep things light, inject humor into your conversations about even heavy communication topics, and strive to see your relationship – and partner – in a positive light, despite any communication roadblocks that may have occurred.