Often in our relationships we struggle with communication. There are truly a vast amount of issues, troubles, and concerns in regards to communicating with our partners. In this short article, I am going to touch on just five of those. Instead of saying, "We just don't communicate anymore," we need to become aware what walls are standing in the midst of our communication. What is stopping us from talking to or hearing our partner? We mustn't play the blame game either. When we take a real look at the walls - the blocks - in our communication we might be surprised. When we encounter these walls, we need to stop and be quiet. Take time to settle into our body, feel the ground beneath us. We may be able to recognize signals from our body such as, a tension in the shoulders or a heaviness in our stomach. Taking a few deep breaths and slowly releasing them can help us relax and connect to our inner selves. This deeper connection can offer some insight into the wall and/or what created the wall. I, also, ask that we remember that communicating is not just about talking. It includes a variety of ways to communicate. A recent article, 8 Ways We Communicate With our Partner, briefly explores some of those different ways. Recognizing the different ways may help us better understand our trouble spots too.
So, what are some of the issues we often encounter?
1. Not Enough - We simply feel like we don't communicate enough anymore. Our partner doesn't talk to us. We don't spend time together. We just go through the motions - get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, put the kids to bed, go to sleep, and start over. Maybe there is a touch of who has to pick-up the kids from practice, what needs to be picked-up at the store, or maybe a "do you wanna do it?" Unfortunately, too many couples end up in this rut. Eventually, those couples come to a point where they feel like they don't know each other anymore. We don't want this to be us, and so often believe that will never actually happen to us. Yet, if we stop communicating, that is exactly what will happen in the end. We will grow apart, we will feel lonely, we will feel unloved. When we recognize that we are not communicating enough we need to stop in our tracks and shift gears!
2. Avoidance - Avoiding an issue that we have with our partner may be one reason we stop talking or communicating with him/her. Perhaps, he/she has done something that upset us. For whatever reason, we are uncomfortable talking about it; therefore, we say nothing and pull away instead. We retreat into ourselves. We build a wall around us as a way of defense. It feels better in the beginning to avoid the issue. Yet, what we don't realize is that the avoidance only creates further issues. We aren't learning from the problem if we ignore it hoping it will just go away. Let me share an analogy. There is a dog right outside your door. Every time you try to go out the door he snarls and bites at you. You aren't sure why he is at your door. You don't know what to do about it. So, you just try to ignore him by either staying inside or you try to just walk past him only to get bitten. If you stay inside, you will miss work and won't be able to go out for groceries. Obviously, ignoring this issue and just trying to avoid it is not going to benefit you. Perhaps, in this short little analogy we can see that it is very important to face our issues and find out how we can move past them instead of trying to avoid them.
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