communicatingWhen people are told that they need to communicate, they often think it’s an open invitation to talk, but there is a drastic difference between talking and communicating.

Communicating is an art, an art that combines the ability to express your opinions and feelings clearly with the ability to listen and understand another person’s point of view.

How often have you noticed – perhaps sitting at a meeting or conference, or a family gathering, watching and listening to what was going on around you – that often whole groups of people lack the ability to listen to their colleagues, partners or friends and therefore cannot understand or comprehend any opinion other than their own?

No one is communicating

What could have been covered in five minutes or learned in half an hour often takes hours or days just because people refuse to sit back, listen and understand.

Over the years, we’ve been amazed by the number of times people are provided with information that, if acted upon, could totally alter a relationship, career or the success of a business. But, because of difficulty communicating and thinking through another person’s point of view, these unique opportunities pass them by.

Communicating in a Relationship

Relationships are similar to the work environment only scaled down to just two of you. Often, what could be a marriage made in heaven is destroyed by the struggle of communicating. The most successful relationships, in business or personnel life are those in which both parties have strong verbal and listening skills.

Most relationship problems begin with problems communicating. Couples often feel that their partner should naturally know what they’re thinking and how they feel, so they spend no time communicating  and then wonder why they feel neglected and under valued.

How many women decide not to tell their man something that’s bothering them just because they don’t know how to say it?

And then the problem eats away at the relationship until there is no relationship left. What a waste, just the sheer ability to share a problem can make what seemed to be a tiny little blip on a large horizon an insurmountable issue.

So whenever you feel stressed or don’t know what to do: don’t bottle it up!  Talk about it, seek advice and listen to the answer. Don’t keep quiet when you know in your heart a problem has to be aired and don’t put off until tomorrow what has to be sorted today. Tomorrow never comes!!

It is not what you have to say that will ruin a relationship; it is your intent in saying it.  If you broach difficult issues with the intent of making your relationship stronger and building the love and trust between you and your man, you will find communicating easier.

However, if you’re trying to threaten or hurt your partner, because you’re blurting something out in anger or frustration, your man will remember your emotional state, not what you had to say.  The last thing you want is for him to get defensive, storm off or stop listening. You want the person you are communicating with to be open and perceptive.  And in order to achieve this, your timing and approach has to be right.

Because everyone is different, what works for communicating with one person won’t necessarily work with another. And with some people, all you can do is sew the seed and then let them walk away and work it out for themselves.

One person we know never actually listens to anyone. She is one of those who is always right no matter what, and hasn’t a clue about being a team player. Traditional methods of reasoning just don’t work for her.  All you can do is plant the seed of an idea and leave it to her to develop it.

Given people’s individuality, you need spend time learning what is right for you and your man.

Some Helpful Communicating Tips:

Make sure you never start a discussion if you don’t have time to finish it.  Don’t insist on a debate when one of you is off out to work, dealing with the kids or just relaxing in front of their favorite TV program. If the timing never seems to be right, ask ‘when would it be a good time for us to just sit down and talk?’

Whatever you do, do not let yourself appear agitated either in what you say or how you say it. Body language can just as easily put your man on the defensive as what you say to him. Even if your man is vying for a fight, stay calm.  Remember, approaching defensiveness with defensiveness is a sure way to failure.

One of the key ways to start communicating better is to develop stronger listening skills. Couples often fail to listen to what their partner has to say, interrupt and give the impression that no matter what is said they won’t change their mind.

One trick to ensure that you have listened and you do understand is to repeat what you have heard. This will demonstrate that you have listened to what was said and by repeating it back you have the opportunity to fully comprehend and understand.

How often do we try and work through a problem only to switch on the magic light bulb switch and come up with the answer when we’re explaining the problem to someone else?

If you’re preparing for an exam, would you expect to learn everything just by hearing it once? For most people we would say not. We have to work at it and work at it hard.

Relationship problems can lay heavy on your mind.  And, without communicating, what was originally a small issue can develop into an insurmountable mountain.

If you begin to feel that marital issues are weighing you down, take a break and do something you enjoy, preferably with your man. If you refocus your attention to the better things in life, day to day issues always seem that much smaller.

Spending a little time together and enjoying each other’s company could enable you and your partner to recapture some of the feelings that have been lost through constant arguing and help you regain a positive perspective on your relationship.

Just one last word of advice: if you feel you no longer want to save your marriage, remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

If you believe you have financial issues now, what do you think it will be like when you split your assets?  If you feel you don’t have time to do things you love, what will it be like when you are on your own or worse a single parent?

And if you feel lonely now how will you feel when every time you walk in your front door all you have is your own company? None of these thoughts have been aired to encourage you to stay in a bad relationship but rather to make you consider whether or not yours is as bad as you think.

You are the master of your own destiny and if you want to turn a bad marriage around you have the power at your fingertips – start communicating.

-The Editors at LoveRomanceRelationship

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