My thoughts for the week will be on communication, and specific communication with your loved ones-wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other. The biggest problem I’ve discovered with my relationships is ineffective communication. Many times once we become familiar with one another we tend to not communicate as well as we should. We simply expect the other to read our mind; this is a mistake of epic proportion. In the journey of contentment I’m challenging myself and others to grow, to grow as a person, to grow as a friend, to grow as a wife, husband, daughter and son. Grow as a person and many will want to eat of your spirit. Cease to grow and you become like a stale donut, and who wants a stale donut.
I found this here and I felt it was appropriate.
Love & Communication in Relationships
Communication is Key
Much of what we see and hear pertains to love these days. What many solely seek for in life is love. Yet, what happens when it is found? The idea is to keep it alive, but how? For this, communication is the key.
The way in which couples communicate with one another is a reflection of their personalities, age, backgrounds, and lifestyles. In order to maintain a relationship, couples must exchange information about themselves. They need to be capable of feeling confident, to be honest, direct, and clear when discussing realities about their past, present, and future. If one cannot share ideas about themselves with their partner, they are not allowing themselves to heal, get closer, or make a real commitment. Love cannot exist if a person cannot discuss important issues of their life with their companion.
Types of Communication
The way in which people communicate varies from person to person. Yet, the main types of communication are symbols, nonverbal and verbal communication. In terms of symbols, communicating using symbols does not refer to Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, but rather any object or action such as hugs or clothing styles that represent emotions or physical attractions.
Nonverbal communication refers to the communication that occurs without the use of words to convey meaning such as the employment of body language, gestures, or facial expressions. Conversely, verbal communication (our primary mode of communication) utilizes the tools of speech and writing. 2 Still, despite the type of communication mode used, relationships that lack effective communication tend to fail.
Communicating with your Loved One
One of the most important aspects of communication is how you communicate with your loved one. In order to converse well with your partner there are certain things one can try. To begin, try talking about yourself and your feelings. Express positive as well as negative feelings about how you feel about yourself, your partner, or anything concerning the relationship. It sometimes takes bravery to tell someone how you feel, but in the end it really pays off. Second, express everyday needs and wants on a daily basis. Your partner is not psychic. It is difficult to cooperate, compromise, or meet another’s expectations when you have no idea how they feel about things. Third, use direct expression rather than indirect expression such as, “I’m angry,” or “I feel rejected” instead of, “you make me angry,” or “you reject me.” This is a simple method that may help avoid conflict. Lastly, be a good listener. Your partner will feel more connected to you if he/she senses you are interested in them rather than interested in impressing them. 3 Likewise, when couples fail to attempt these key techniques to help their relationship flourish, ineffective communication may be taking place.
Things that might cause problems in a relationship
Some relationship problems may be caused by miscommunication or misunderstandings in a conversation. Miscommunication may take place when couples do not clearly convey something to their partner. For instance, one may communicate certain messages with words, but their body language says something else. An example of this would be a partner who says, “I love you” to their partner with an angry tone in his or her voice. Misunderstandings are most visible in those relationships where one partner assumes that the other partner already knows something, or should know something. Assuming that one’s partner should already know everything, brings about conflict within the relationship. 4 When these two things occur, it is thought of as inadequate communication, which often leads to frustration and hostility, and consequently can further ruin future communication within the relationship. Even the most simple of conversations can become a forum for competitiveness, power struggles and mutual depreciation. Some of these effects can be visualized when considering situations where ineffective communication is used.
Types of Ineffective Communication
Ineffective communication is characterized by a number of elements. When language is indirect and fails to clearly state a reason, communication could turn out ineffective. When faced with indirect communication, people tend to get frustrated in trying to figure out the purpose of the conversation. In response, he or she does not cooperate much in the exchange or understanding. Another impediment is passiveness, which could present a barrier for effective communication through an inability to be open. Moreover, the quality of shyness, which often accompanies passiveness, causes a person to be reserved and thus hold back or participate in indirect communication.
Another element of ineffective communication is antagonism, which could set the mood for defense rather than understanding. People could become more engaged in trying to defend themselves and understand their argument rather than the other member(s) of the conversation. 5 While it is good to know what types of elements characterize ineffective communication, in the end it may be best to understand what elements to employ rather than avoid.
Types of Effective Communication
Contrary to ineffective communication, effective communication is direct. It gets to the point and leaves very little if nothing for interpretation. Effective communication is not passive or timid instead it is assertive in terms of its purpose. Ambiguity is nonexistent and the issues or messages are clear. When effective communication is employed couples do not have trouble communicating their thoughts, desires and feelings with their partners in a clear and open manner. They are able to express their opinions clearly and get straight to the point while remaining on topic. The often tempting but harsh habit of going off into a tangent should be avoided and only pertinent details are elaborated. Effective communication operates under the assumption that the partner is grasping what they are trying to say. 5 Love and communication in relationships work hand in hand. Communication in a relationship becomes essential for maintaining a healthy relationship. In the end, if one seeks to retain the relationship, it is up to the couple to communicate effectively so that love can indeed blossom and stay strong.
•Beck, Aaron T. Love is Never Enough . New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1988.
•Becvar, Raphael J. Skills for Effective Communication: A Guide to Building Relationships . John Wiley & Sons, 1974.
•Bertholf, Stephen D. What every College Age Women Should Know about Relationships . Abbey House Books, 1999.
•Kuriansky, Judy. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to A Healthy Relationship. Indianapolis, IN., 2002.
•Wiggins, James, et. al. Social Psychology . U.S.: McGraw-Hill, 1994.