One of the services most in demand by psychologists in Mariva is couples therapy, the basis of which is communication.
And it is that in our daily relationships, not all communication is adequate, and just encouraging it is usually not enough: it is not only about quantity, but also about quality. To achieve this communicative quality in our love life, we often have to work in therapy, as it can be difficult for the couple to detect exactly what is failing and what can be done to understand better and discuss less.
Despite this, there is Basic communication “rules” which, beyond couples therapy, can serve as a basis for fostering good understanding. Let’s see what they are.
The main rules for good communication in the couple
Respecting these communication guidelines can help make life as a couple easier and not weaken the bond of love.
1. Talk about the problem in question
Try not to “mix up” various topics, especially in discussions. This can cause us not to solve the problem we wanted to talk about and to prolong the conversation without reaching the “right port”.
It is also not practical to come to the other end and insist too much. If it has already been discussed and the issue has been resolved, or if it is simply concluded that you have two different views, then it doesn’t even help to reiterate and delete the issue over and over.
2. Have a positive and realistic language
When talking about the behavior of the other person, let’s try to avoid terms like: “nothing”, “always”, “never”, “all” … and sentences like: “you are always the same”, ” you’re doing everything wrong “, etc. Besides being quite painful, they are very likely not to show reality and that you are not objective. In short, don’t generalize.
Of course, don’t be disrespectful (don’t insult or shout, control non-verbal language …). Think how sorry you would be for your partner to do that, this is the basis of communication.
This point is essential and, if it fails, it is very complicated that we can fulfill the other aspects or that the relationship can work.
4. Have a positive attitude
In addition to positive language, a positive attitude would be important. Being pessimistic and having an attitude of defeat is not the best way to seek solutions when there is a problem.
5. Highlight the property
Try to praise what you like about your partner. If we only tell ourselves the negative aspects, we are unrealistic and can encourage irritability and defensiveness in others.
6. Practice active listening
Let the other person speak and, above all, listen – and try to empathize and understand it.
7. Do not leave anything in the inkwell
Don’t be silent, if you speak too little and don’t express yourself, it will be difficult for them to understand you.
8. Commit to clarity
Try to express yourself clearly. Avoid “I say this but I want to say something else” or “I say yes but I hope my partner understands no”. Unless your partner is a fortune teller, it will be difficult for them to understand what you mean.
9. Don’t take for granted what the other person thinks or wants.
We don’t guess the thought, we have to believe what our partner tells us. For example: if they tell us “I would like to go with you”, we should not interpret “although he does not want to”.
10. Keep the conversation in order
Try not to interrupt and respect the word changes. If you interrupt, don’t let the person speak, don’t listen properly …
11. Don’t fall for labels
No labels. It is not the same to say “you forgot your shoes” or “you are in a mess and you always leave everything in the middle”. Here we are making the mistake of generalizing (see rule 2) and labeling as a disaster someone who may not have a clue about shoes.
12. Express your motivations
To request behavior changes, be specific express how you feel and what you want to accomplish. For example: “When you leave your shoes outside, I get nervous / and I would like you to remember to keep them at the shoemaker.” Let’s take another example: “I would like you to let me know if you have to arrive after noon, when I don’t worry, do you like it?”.
13. Avoid mistakes
If we receive criticism or are asked to change our behavior, it is important not to fall into the “and you more”, “I did that but you did it too” … it’s a defensive attitude, it doesn’t allow us to see why our behavior is boring.
We have to assess whether we can and want to change it, explain why we are doing it and so on. But the goal shouldn’t be to “fight” against each other and see who makes the most mistakes, it could be an eternal and destructive conversation.
We know the trick is to put it into practice, but I hope you found these tips helpful. Try to practice them in your everyday life and don’t hesitate to go to couples therapy if you think your relationship can improve in terms of communication or in any other area. Your therapist will guide you through the process and it will be much easier than trying to improve without this help.