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How To Work Through Important Issues

Part 9 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

One Thing at a Time

Tip number eight is that when you go to talk about things that are important to you, talk about one thing at a time. Talk about only one topic.

When people get in heated discussions, they often feel like they have to defend their position at all costs which doesn’t really work. They bring in all kinds of side issues. When you’re having a discussion, stick to the topic. Take one thing at a time.

We don’t need to be right. We don’t have to support our position. We don’t have to argue. We don’t have to bring up things from the past or focus on what might happen in the future. We talk about one thing at a time. Read more »

Are You Tactful With Your Honesty?

Part 8 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

Be Honest

Tip number seven is be honest. There is honest and there is brutally honest.

I once counseled a woman who didn’t have any long term good friends. She had not been able to hold a relationship together, and the reason was because she justified beating people up with her words by “I’m just being honest. If they can’t take it, that’s their problem!” But it’s the way she did it, and that unkindness came back to bite her more than once.

That means if someone is having a tough day and they put on something that is not your favorite thing you don’t say “Oh my gosh, you look ugly today!” You need to be “directful” without being heavy handed.

When your partner knows that you’re telling them the truth, you tell them the good things as well as the bad things. You don’t hide things. They trust you on a deeper level because they know you’re honest with them. They know you care but they also know that you are willing to step up and tell them what you really are seeing, experiencing, feeling and thinking. They don’t have to guess if you’re being honest with them. They know you are. Read more »

Emotions Have No Right Or Wrong

Part 7 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

Feelings Are Valid

Couples communication tip number six is that emotions are not normally right or wrong. They just are.

We are emotional beings. Everything we do, we do because it feels right to us or it feels wrong to us or it’s something we need to fix or there’s something going on that gives us a certain gut-level response. We are emotional human beings. The most logical person on the planet has feelings about things.

Emotions aren’t really wrong. It’s just how you react to them that in many cases that causes the conflict. Often we hesitate to talk to our partner about what we’re feeling because our feeling may be strong and we’re afraid that they’re going to feel a certain way about our feelings and what we say and that may not feel good to us either.

Feelings–we aren’t wrong because of them. They aren’t wrong because of them. Human beings are emotional creatures. Emotions are neither right nor wrong; they just are. Read more »

Try Not To Get Defensive

Part 6 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

Who has the Concern?

Relationship communication tip number five is that we need to focus on the person who is having the concern whether that is you or whether that is them. If it’s you, you need to slow down and take the time, organize your thoughts, find if this is an appropriate time and then communicate effectively.

But if they have a concern – if your partner accuses you of something, if they get upset by something you’ve done, we often automatically become defensive and feel like we have to explain our side of it. This is how we see it. This is why we did what we did. This is how come things are the way they are now. Read more »

Be Open To Other Perspectives

Part 5 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

More Than One Perspective

Tip number four would be that we need to watch out not to confront our mate with preset judgments or opinions that say they are wrong or at fault. There is more than one perspective on something and to automatically jump in and say that the way they see things is incorrect may not be the best strategy.

If you confront that person because you think he or she is at fault and you happen to be mistaken and you’ve done it in an aggressive or unkind manner, both of you lose. You will bear that burden, you’ll bear that pain for a long time. Read more »

Can We Talk About This Later?

Part 4 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

The Appropriate Time

A third tip for building a great relationship and improving your communications is don’t bring up important issues during rushed, stressful or inappropriate times of day. Does that happen? Oh yes, but we need to slow down. If it’s important enough to talk about and something that is really essential to us, we need to take time and do it during an appropriate time.

It’s a great practice to voice what’s going on with you and talk about what’s happening inside and how you feel about something when it comes up, yet if you have an emotionally charged issue, something you just need to get out and discuss, it’s best to wait until you both have time to sit down, talk about it and think through it. Read more »

Friendship Before Loveship

Part 3 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

Relationship communication tip number two is that we need to put our friendship before our loveship. Friends put each other first while those who often times have love relationships or sexual relationships sometimes develop those without really developing a true friendship first. So when we take the time to slow down and be a friend to the other person, it deepens the relationship and allows us to have even a more fulfilling experience of that relationship.

Do unto others as you would have people do unto you is sage advice. So is do unto others as they would like to be done unto. You treat your friends the way they want to be treated. You take good care of them. You share with them. Read more »

Reply, Don’t Just React

Part 2 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

Also what we need to do if someone does have a request of us is to reply to them rather than to react to them. Replying is softer and yet still direct. Just reacting is a common cause of communication breakdowns and misunderstandings.

A reaction often times is a verbal or nonverbal, off the top gut response. It is an indirect attempt to show somebody how we’re thinking or feeling without first giving it any conscious thought. That immediate reaction can be a good thing if the input is needed immediately. Yet the lack of forethought prior to communicating can be an issue. Read more »