Relationships are hard. They are hard to get started and they are just as hard to keep going. Luckily, the secret of keeping a relationship flowing is no longer a secret. The solution is understanding relationship communication.
Below is a list of 4 foundations to successful relationship communication. Keep in mind that each of these “pillars” is equally important for a relationship’s survival.
1) Communication is more than just a part of relationships; it is the relationship. Interpersonal relations can’t be formed, or even maintained, without actively communicating. If communication stops, the relationship eventually will too. Therefore, the overall importance of communication in general is undeniable.
2) It is impossible for you to not communicate. Regardless of if you share your feelings with your partner or remain silent – if you are in the presence someone else, you are communicating with that person – if by no other means than nonverbally. Note: it is important to remember that both the intentional and unintentional messages we send out to other people are often translated incorrectly (the intended meaning is misunderstood or inaccurate).
3) Meanings are in the people, not the words. When humans hear a message the process of translating it into a specific meaning depends on that particular individual and the circumstances surrounding them. When you hear the word “dog”, you may think of Lassi while your partner thinks about a Cujo.
With millions of thoughts speeding though our brains, it is impossible for two people always to think the same thing. In light of this, just imagine how many differences can arise in meaning when considering terms like “love”, “space”, “intimate”, or “commit”.
4) Communication is permanent. Once an individual receives and processes a message, it is irreversible. If you come to regret something you said to your partner, all you can do is apologize and hope for forgiveness. The message can’t be erased. Therefore, avoid rushing relationship communication and overly emotional communication (whether it is passionate love talk or an intense argument).
Conversing when emotionally aroused/upset often leads to sending messages that we did not mean or intend on saying. Also, be aware of the related dangers of alcohol/drug usage and relationship communication.
With all 4 of these pillars in mind you will be much better prepared to successfully communicate within your relationship.