Have you ever wondered how you communicate with your partner? And she with you? With what words, tone, gestures, etc., do you tell him what you are thinking or feeling? When do you tell him one thing or another?
In this article, we will talk about a very effective type of communication, which helps to build healthy relationships; it is about communication asserted in the couple. We will know what it is, examples, advantages and techniques to improve it.
How do we communicate with our partner?
Communication within a relationship determines many other aspects: their mutual well-being, the type of relationship, the degree of intimacy, the type of coexistence, the degree of satisfaction, etc. In other words, it is a key factor for a relationship to be healthy, functional and maintained.
Through communication, we express our desires, opinions, ideas, things that we like, things that we don’t like so much, things that we do not support or tolerate in any way, etc. It is thanks to her that we will be able to create a solid and trusting relationship..
Often it will not be easy, as we will have to come to agreements, negotiate, give in, etc. The important thing is that there is empathy between the two members of the couple which allows them to strengthen their relationship.
Assertive communication in the couple
Before explaining how we can promote assertive communication in the couple, we will explain what assertiveness is and, therefore, assertive communication. Assertiveness is a way of expressing our ideas, thoughts, desires and feelings, standing up for our own rights while respecting the other person.
An example of assertiveness is saying to our partner, “Even though I know you don’t do it with bad intentions, I mind that you’re late for dates. Can you try to change this? ”
That is to say, assertiveness it involves being honest with what you want without being rude or disrespectful. In a way, it’s a middle ground between aggression and passivity. Many summarize assertiveness as “the ability to say no”, although this is a slightly more complex element and encompasses other aspects, as we have seen.
So, assertive communication is a type of communication where assertiveness is applied, through what we have explained. In other words, that is to say it is about expressing our thoughts and our desires taking into account our rights but also those of the other person. It is a way of speaking respectfully, making suggestions or expressing opinions without disrespect or being arrogant or rude.
In this way, when there is communication in the couple, the two members of it are able to express themselves in complete freedom, becoming aware of the needs of the other but without forgetting their own. Assertive communication allows us to be ourselves and to respect each other.
Some of the benefits of assertive communication in a couple are:
1. Allows you to set limits
The first advantage of assertive communication in the couple is that it is a type of communication that allows you to set certain limits within the couple; these limits may refer to aspects or behaviors that we do not like or tolerate, for example. By assertiveness we can “negotiate” with the couple what we like and what we don’t have.
2. It allows to negotiate
Following the point above, we also find the opportunity to negotiate the things we need in the relationship. In other words, we can express our needs, but also our desires, preferences, etc.
3. Empathy in power
Another advantage of promoting assertive communication in a relationship is that it helps to strengthen your partner’s empathy. By affirming messages that you send to her (politely), she you can put yourself in your shoes, imagine what you are feeling right now and why you are asking for one thing or another, For example.
4. Create a pleasant coexistence
If we are able to tell our partner (and her to us) what we think “bluntly”, in a respectful and polite manner (ultimately, through assertive communication), we will help create a climate of good. being and pleasant coexistence within the relationship.
For this, it is good to use words like: “please”, “thank you”, “nothing”, “sorry”, etc. The important thing is that we can say the things we mean without leaving them to usAs long as these are things that can help improve the relationship.
Techniques to highlight it in your love life
How to improve assertive communication in the couple? Let’s see some techniques and tips to improve or improve it:
1. Choose the time to say things
Not all issues should be dealt with at the same time of day, as some issues are more sensitive than others, and besides, our partner’s mood can also condition our choice. A communication affirmed in the couple is obtained by taking into account this aspect and others. This is why it is important, in addition to learning to say what you think, to choose the right time to do it. That’s not to say that sometimes it can’t happen that we have to say things quickly or in an emergency..
But whenever we can, we’ll have to pay attention to how our partner is right now, if this comment is particularly bothering him, and so on. In other words, we must say what we think but adapting to the context.
2. Use the appropriate words
In addition to choosing the best time to say certain things or to bring up certain topics, it is also important to choose the words we use to say them. This will improve our assertive communication in the couple. A good idea is to use words or phrases that are neither absolute nor categorical.
Outraged, we can use kind and grateful expressions, which promote closeness; eg “thanks for the suggestion, but i don’t think the same as you”, or “sorry if you mind what i’m going to say, but …” etc.
3. Be honest
Assertiveness is based on sincerity. for that it makes no sense to adorn reality, make it up, exaggerate it or even lie about it, because in the end everything ends up being knownAnd finding out a lie from your partner is a long way from maintaining assertive communication. In other words, as we have seen, assertiveness relies primarily on saying what one thinks, and the basis of that is sincerity.
4. Use appropriate non-verbal language
Another important element in conveying what we are thinking is the non-verbal language we use to do it (this includes gestures, posture, tone of voice …). For example, using an affable tone is not the same as being aggressive, imperative, harsh, gentle, close, etc. So, non-verbal language is as important as verbal language, and that’s why effective and assertive communication will be based on the transmission of coherent messages (I.e., coincide) in verbal and non-verbal form.
Specifically, the tone in which we say things greatly influences how the other person receives information. On the other hand, the gestures that accompany the message must also be appropriate, as well as the posture and the distance between the other person (use of personal space).
- Castanyer, O. (2019). (5th ed.) Applications of assertiveness. Editorial Desclée De Brouwer, Bilbao.
- Gaeta, L. and Galvanovskis, A. (2009). Assertiveness: a theoretical-empirical analysis. Teaching and Research in Psychology, 14 (2): 403-425.
- Torroella, G. (2002). Learn to live together. City of Havana, Cuba: Editors and Education.