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Tips for Better Communication

Effective communication is critical for building and maintaining strong couple relationships. Communication includes more than words and communication and problem-solving skills. There is a common over-reliance on these as the “ royal road to romance and an enduring, happy marriage”(Gottman and Silver , 8). Keep your romantic partnership in good working order by talking openly, keeping it interesting and seeking help if needed. Marital education programs that teach skills such as good communication, effective listening and dealing with conflict have been shown to reduce the risk of divorce. If you'd like professional help. 29 Sep At the end of the day disappointment sets in. No gift, no card, only a verbal 'happy birthday' and a Facebook wall post. I need more. I need symbols, signs. Call me materialistic but I learned something about myself in couples counseling a year and a half ago: my love language is my own and not everyone.

The search for the keys to effective communication is a pressing concern for counseling and clinical psychologists. Lots of ideas have been floated in the self-help literature.

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One frequent piece of advice is to use "I" words instead "you" words. But, of course, the underlying blame is still quite obvious to the accused party. What they found is that no particular communication style is always effective.

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Crossing these two dimensions yields four communication styles. This approach uses reasoning and negotiation to work through a conflict.

Let's say, for example, that you're concerned about family finances and bring this up with your spouse.

How To Communicate Effectively In A Romantic Relationship

Direct cooperation is the best way to How To Communicate Effectively In A Romantic Relationship run-of-the-mill problems, but it doesn't convey sufficient urgency in major problems that potentially threaten the relationship.

This approach uses humor and expressions of affection to broach the problem. For instance, if your wife brings her smartphone to bed, you could joke about always having to have a threesome.

However, indirect cooperation fails to convey the seriousness of major problems. In fact, it may even signal to your partner that the problem really isn't that important. In this approach, you try to change your partner's behavior by laying on guilt and pleading for sympathy. Overall and McNulty point out that people high in attachment anxiety tend to rely on this communication style, because it assuages their insecurities about the relationship, at least for a while.

Generally speaking, indirect opposition is corrosive to relationships. Partners resent being guilted into doing something, and even when they do comply, the resentment comes out in other ways, so the problem isn't really solved. Thus, a minor problem escalates into a major one. Direct opposition is the "knock-down, drag-out" fight that's typically the turning point of a romantic comedy or drama.

How Can We Communicate Better?

This communication style is quite risky, but Overall and McNulty's research shows that it's the most effective approach when the relationship is on the line. This is because the drama that ensues fully communicates to the partner the magnitude of the problem and the necessity of resolving it. If you explode when your wife forgets to put another roll of toilet paper on the holder, or if you go off the rail when your husband tracks mud on the carpet, you're reacting out of proportion to the problem.

And that's exactly how your partner will feel, so they'll be even less motivated to resolve the issue. But if he's struggling with emotional issuesdirect opposition can have a crushing effect. Reading him the riot act won't motivate him; instead, he'll just spiral even deeper into depression.

No particular communication style works in all situations.

It is based on the willingness and the ability to approach and perceive issues in a non-judgmental way. Revisit the conversation when you feel your heart rate return to normal and you can logically process what you are feeling. When the brains of a group of people in their fifties, who had been married an average of 21 years, were scanned after looking at a photo of their partner, they showed the same level of activity as young lovers who had been together for an average of seven months.

Rather, we need to tailor our approach to match our needs and our partner's vulnerabilities. If you find that you're just not getting through to your significant other, it's time for you to rethink your communication style. What type of communication during conflict is beneficial for intimate relationships?

How To Communicate Effectively In A Romantic Relationship

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Replies to my comment. The Psychology of Language: You are reading Talking Apes. Is Deafness Really a Disability? A view from the deaf perspective. It depends on how you use them. What Makes an Intimate Relationship Intimate?

Examples of constructive strategies for resolving disagreements include attempting to find out exactly what your partner is feeling, listening to his or her point of view and trying to make him or her laugh. Taking a break can keep the situation from getting worse. Communication between intimate partners is more than words — it involves establishing link emotional connection. In fact, I recently wrote a blog about this -- but here's what I've learned about communicating with your partner:.

Are You a Target of Blame for a Narcissist? Listen Carefully Are you a good listener?