Relationship communication can be tricky. It is a curious way to start an article but consider this. Relationships involve people. That’s a statement of the obvious I know and sometimes things that are obvious are completely missed.
You are a unique human being. The people that you are in relationships with are also human beings and also unique. Every one of you has been brought up in a unique environment known as a family that is composed of other unique individuals.
We come into this world in a manner that is somewhat random. By random, I mean we have little choice about the human beings who will be guiding us towards becoming adults. We do not know what beliefs they may have and we do not know if those beliefs and the resulting actions, will be effective in dealing with the world out there. Worse still, we have no idea whatsoever about how well what we are being taught will enable us to cope with other human beings.
Given the apparent randomness of human up bringing, it is a miracle that we are not rushing to push “the button” every 5 min. So what’s is it that binds us together as a species? What is it that brings you together with another person in a relationship?
A lot depends on what you focus on. It is rumoured that leaving the top off of the toothpaste tube is one of the leading causes of divorce. This is of course complete fabrication. The leading cause of problems in relationship communication is bad focus.
Good communication comes from focusing on the things that work for both of you and for the relationship. By switching your focus from the top on the toothpaste tube, to appreciative remarks, and by focusing on the good things, your perspective changes.
You entered into a relationship with some common goals and some common benefits you were seeking. Pause and consider them for a moment.
When you enter into a relationship with someone, by which I mean a positive and cooperative relationship, you probably did so because you and the other person had congruent values. You both decided that what was important to the other person was also important to you. You shared beliefs about what is right and good. Values are the clearing in the middle of forest where we can all come together and meet.Shared values are that place in a relationship which does not have any conflict. Values are the safe space where you feel secure about being yourself.
Because those shared values create a safe space for you, you can be yourself and you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Discovering the shared values you have with another human being is one of the quickest way to build trust, rapport and understanding. Without trust, rapport and understanding you will not experience the relationship you really want.
To improve your relationships communication, I would recommend what you do is to simply ask a question. The question is “What is most important to you?”
You can also ask if the other person has those qualities in their life and if the answer is no, I’m going to suggest you offer to help them achieve that.
Relationship communication is about creating cooperation. Cooperation can only come from understanding and understanding can only come from appropriate questioning, respect and trust.