Are You Really Communicating?
Have you ever said something to your mate and thought you made yourself clear only to find that they really didn’t hear you? Maybe they heard you, but didn’t really understand you. It’s another story when they have heard you, understood you, and still choose to do the opposite. One of the most common reasons for divorce is problems with communication. A lack of communication is a problem, and saying a lot of the wrong things is another problem. Just because you are talking, doesn’t mean that you are communicating. Real communication can help to save a dying marriage, friendship or any relationship. This week, I want to share some communication tips that I have found to be helpful from day to day.
- Create a safe place. This means both you and your spouse feel comfortable talking about anything. Both should be free to share without being penalized later. Also, be sure that you are physically in a good place to talk. Sometimes the conversation may need to wait.
- Follow the 3 step Communication process (1. Express, 2. Listen and 3. Respond) Pray before you communicate and definitely before you respond.
- Be honest. Be truthful about what you are feeling and thinking. Not being honest, kills real communication.
- Communicate briefly throughout the day. For example: Talk before you leave home, touch base around lunch time, and maybe one more time before coming home. These can be short conversations or even a text. The point is, to not let an entire day go by without communicating and connecting. If you learn to do this, it can make life a lot better when you get home in the evening. There is something special about connecting throughout the day, that makes intimacy easier at night.
- When you are about to have a serious conversation, pray before you start talking.
- Don’t allow days to go by without communicating. When something bothers you, pick a good time to sit down and communicate. Often times couples are holding on to things that happened months ago.
- Realize that you will not always get your way, and that sometimes you and your spouse will not see eye to eye. You may have spent hours in conversation, but still can’t come to a happy solution. This is were you have to agree to disagree, and be willing to move on.
- Be careful about the conversations that you have in front of your children. Often times, they can not handle adult conversation. It may affect them in ways that you will never know.
- Attack the problem, not each other. Don’t get into name calling, because when the argument is over, the other person still remembers the name that you called them. It’s real hard to be intimate with someone who has called you a bad name.
- When you have said the wrong thing, admit it and ask for forgiveness.
Until next week . . .