Hey, we can all relate to being annoyed by our partner at one point or another. But sometimes this goes beyond our idiosyncrasies, quirks or habits. Sometimes we just pick, pick, pick and go around and around. We argue to make our point and prove ourselves right. We get into fights about how we are talking and arguing. And the fights might even escalate to epic proportions. There is no fun and love in that. I you are bickering and fighting, how are your communication skills? Have you considered this as part of the issue?
I’ve been giving this topic more airtime recently to really help partners get over this hump:
Having great communication skills is a must in our relationship, actually in any relationship, for the partners, or parties involved, to feel good about the exchanges being had. In a love relationship this is paramount for helping the partners feel heard and understood, repair and apologize, get on the same page, make decisions, address issues and resolve conflict.
This is primarily where the safety and flavor of the relationship is created. This is where the partners get to gel, feel close and create intimacy, feel belonging and acceptance, address how to create their dreams and the rest of it.
When partners keep missing each other in interactions – when they force their perspective and miss their partner’s, when they hear what their partner is saying in terms of how it impacts them instead of understanding their partner’s experience, when they are not attuned or available, how are they to get on the same page and feel understood and accepted?
It behooves partners to uplevel their communication skills and tools and to embrace a Relationship Enrichment Lifestyle™.
It is impossible to get on the same page when we say something, and our partner responds not to what we said but to what they interpreted and assumed we meant. And, when we do the same to them…
The key here is to listen with an open heart and compassion. To listen with the intent of understanding what is going on for our partner, regardless of what that means for us. And to definitely not make it about what it means about us!
So, just listen. Try to understand what they are saying without getting stuck on the words being used. And try to understand what it means for them, what is happening for them, given what they are saying. Don’t make assumptions, translate or play therapist!
Then, reflect back what you are hearing, repeat to them what you heard them say: “I’m hearing you say __________”.
When partners feel genuinely heard, they stop repeating themselves, they stop using pejorative and blaming language and they soothe any agitation or intensity…
This very basic skill is a game changer! Give it a good try.
Couples experience the most difficulties during transition times in their routines and life flow… Moving from work mode to couple or family time is usually a major friction point and when most of the arguments happen…
Building in some time to realign as you switch gears is key to pave the way for being together, honoring each other, and enjoying what’s up next.
All it takes is intentionality. Start by agreeing when the transition time is… This in and of itself is massive. Usually, partners are not on the same page about this and are automatically set up for conflict…
This would look something like:
Having “Morning coffee/tea” at 7 am
Touch base at lunch at 1pm
Dinner time / evening routine starts at 6:30 pm
Reconvene at 1 pm on weekend days
Once you have a time, use this time align – share what you’ve been doing, things you experienced, what’s on your mind, address any lose ends or concerns, recap game plan for what’s up next and such…
This ensures you flow and operate well together. It prevents all the nonsense couples experience and build-up of minutiae and concerns and therefore chaos and resentment… Implement this immediately to take charge of your day and flow with each other. Enjoy!
It is hurtful to not be seen and recognized in our relationship. Especially when we try to be loving, kind, generous and attentive and it seems to fall on blind eyes and deaf ears. Better yet, might feel like our partner is in a sensory deprivation tank or another plane of existence! LOL
Don’t get me wrong, they might feel the same way. It might seem to them like we are in a sensory deprivation tank or another plane of existence…
There are many ways to address this, but the easiest and fastest is to simply be mindful…
What does this mean in this context? It means to be present and aware, to notice. And then to action this awareness…
At any moment in time when you see your partner, let them know a couple of things they’ve done that day or how they were that you appreciated.
To remember to do this, you might do it at specific times in your routine: When transitioning from one part of the day to another or from one activity to another, before meals, at bedtime and such.
This minor caring gesture is super powerful in shifting energy and reconnecting… Play with this one with gusto. It’s super rewarding.
These are so easy to implement and yet powerfully transformative.
ASSIGNMENT: Decide which Communication Hack you’ll embrace first and make a Habit of it. Add it to your Habits list / tracker and play full out with it:
- Reflective Listening
- Debriefing Chats
- Appreciation Sprinkles
As with anything, when you bring consciousness, focus and attention to something, Awesomeness happens. I wish this for you in your life and your relationship.
Wishing you much joy, connection and love today and always…
With Much Love & Light!
Copyright (c) 2021 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy™ that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with Personal Development and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com