I love to share but in certain relationships, I have found myself pulling back and avoiding talking about the things that matter to me. Unfortunately, this results in disconnection and dissatisfaction in the relationship. So what makes me pull back and how can I overcome these communication issues to preserve my relationships?
My top 4 communication killers
- The other person seems critical and questions your decisions
- They don’t understand, or worse, dismiss what you are saying
- They misinterpret you
- You sharing with them causes them to worry.
I care about the other person and their opinion. I don’t want to upset them or be upset by their negative response but I also don’t want to close the channels of communication. So, how do I share with someone I love when they often don’t see things the way I do?
Here’s my tips:
4 tips for maintaining connected in communication
- Recognise the other person as a unique individual. They have their own thoughts and beliefs that don’t need to match up with mine. We’re all different and that’s a good thing.
- Hold on to what I know true about myself. Don’t compromise on the things that really matter or adjust yourself or your words to be more appealing to the other person.
- Respond from a rational mind. It’s instinctive to get defensive and bite back but this only escalates the situation. It’s better to pause for a moment, ask “what’s going on?” What was it that triggered me and why did it prompt that emotion? As I have become more aware of my triggers and the underlying fears and insecurities that cause them I am more able to seperate my emotion from my response.
- Remember that the other person has their fears and insecurities too. It is likely that their negative response is actually a reflection of their own trigger. Think about their perspective. If you can identify how they may be triggered by what you want to tell them try to address their concerns. For example, if you want to tell your husband that you feel overwhelmed and need a break but you realise that he may feel like you are criticising him for not helping you enough you could try to preempt this buy saying “Honey, thanks for everything you do to help me with the kids, i really apprecitate it. Would you mind taking them out for a while to give me a break, I’m feeling really tired and overwhelmed” Then they know that you’re not taking them for granted, you recognise and appreciate them.
I hope these tips help. It can be so difficult to persist with trying to remain connected when we feel like we’re not getting a positive return on our efforts. But ultimately, it’s about valuing yourself, valuing others and valuing your connection with them.