Even the most harmonious relationship is not without conflict and friction. It is normal to argue and be offended, it does not mean that everything goes wrong in a couple. But so that the quarrels do not destroy the union, it is important to strengthen the connection between the partners, to build an adequate and honest communication. Psychologists suggest several strategies for this.
What situations indicate problems with communication
1. Passive aggression
Instead of openly showing anger and dissatisfaction and telling what worries him, the passive-aggressive person hides his feelings and expresses them in an indirect, veiled form. This manifests itself in various ways. For example, in offensive jokes, innuendoes and sarcastic remarks. Inappropriate humor and sarcasm may wound your partner if he or she is vulnerable and you are discussing a sensitive subject.
Another manifestation of latent aggression is total ignoring and heavy silence when one tries to punish the other with a “boycott.”
All of these actions bring temporary relief and allow you to vent your negative emotions, but in the long run they interfere with normal communication and work against you.
2. Avoiding problems
Even if a conflict is brewing in a couple, people simply keep silent about what they don’t like, afraid to start an unpleasant conversation. Except that problems do not disappear from this, but on the contrary, they can acquire catastrophic proportions.
Sometimes it seems that silence is a way to fence ourselves off from the partner and to mark our borders. But they are established thanks to conversations and discussions. And silence leads to misunderstanding.
Another unhealthy tactic is to walk away in the midst of a conversation or conflict. Running away causes partners to drift apart and the problem remains unresolved. If you feel you’re bursting with emotion and need a time-out, say so, don’t walk away in silence.
3. Hostile behavior
This is indicated by accusations, harsh criticism, attempts to control and suppress the partner, and other actions that make one person seem to attack and the other have to defend themselves.
Overt signs of hostile behavior include raising one’s voice. Yelling is disrespectful and is not the most effective way of expressing anger. The other person feels stressed, angry and frightened. All this is not good for communication.
Constant reminders of old mistakes can also be considered hostile behavior. This way you will not establish mutual understanding, but only instill in your partner a sense of guilt. There is no sense to endlessly resonate the same conflicts and mistakes.
What techniques will help establish communication
1. Learn to recognize and accept your emotions
Before you talk to your partner about the problem, look deep inside yourself, recognize how you feel, and live through the emotion. If possible, wait until the storm inside has calmed down a bit. If you start a conversation when you are irritated or offended, the conversation will be very heated and it is unlikely to resolve the conflict.
2. Choose the right moment to talk
If the situation is not very acute and can be tolerated, first carefully weigh what you want to say. Wait until you and your partner have enough free time and when you are both calm and relaxed. Let them know that you’re worried about something and would like to discuss it, so your loved one won’t be too upset.
3. Use “self-messaging”
Very often we express grievances and discontent in an accusatory way: “You’re always late!”, “You’re rude to me.” All these pokes only angers interlocutor, makes him defensive and accuse you in return. And this is clearly not conducive to peace and understanding in the couple.
To make your point clear and really destroy the conflict, it is better not to talk about your partner and his faults, and about the feelings that you have about it. This is the essence of the “me-messaging” technique.
For example, instead of being indignant – “All your thoughts are only about work, and you do not pay attention to me!”, you should say: “I feel very lonely, I miss you lately, because you work so much.
Give your partner a chance to speak and listen carefully. Use active listening techniques to demonstrate that you understand what they are saying and are willing to share their feelings.
Don’t turn the conversation into a competition. Focus on reaching mutual understanding. Your goal should be compromise, not the desire to assert yourself and prove your partner wrong. Then it will be easier to create and maintain a strong bond.
5. Set boundaries
They help to avoid misunderstandings and communicate with tact and respect for each other’s feelings. For example, if money in your couple is a cause for conflict, agree that you will discuss any spending above a certain amount before you buy.
6. Communicate more often during the day
Write to each other about what’s going on with you, how you’re reacting, and how strong your feelings are. This is a great opportunity to talk through emotions before they build up and lead to an explosion.