Isn’t it interesting how even when you and your partner speak the same language, you don’t always understand what he/she is saying?
Let me explain by way of example…
Wife: I really wish you would come home earlier from work.
She means: I feel lonely and neglected and I would love for us to spend more time together.
He hears: I don’t trust you / You’re disappointing me / She’s trying to control me!
The resulting feelings: Hurt, defensiveness, guilt, negativity
This is just one example of how a simple conversation can turn into an area of conflict – particularly if it involves a sensitive subject!
So how can couples ensure that what they say is interpreted in the way that they mean it?
The first step is to identify the common communication mistakes so that we can then try to fix them.
Here is Communication Mistake #1 -
Negativity and Escalation
The most common communication mistake couples often make involves negativity and escalation. This occurs when partners respond to one another negatively, with each response getting worse and worse until finally one person oversteps the boundaries and makes a hurtful statement.
How to change this: If you’re in a relationship you most likely know intimate details about one another. This includes information that could be hurtful should you use it in a condescending way. When you find yourself in an argument with your partner, recognize your feelings and notice when you feel yourself getting so heated you may bring up a sensitive topic. In other words, step back from the situation before making hurtful statements that could escalate a simple topic into an outright war.
Stay tuned for more communication mistakes and how to avoid them… :)
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