Are We Really Communicating?

Written by Carl & Yolanda Bennett
mouth_closeup_500Learning how to communicate is something that many couples take for granted. We often think that by hearing our spouses and partners talk, we're communicating. However, in truth, many of us are either only hearing (performing the physical act of your body interpreting auditory stimuli) or we're listening ready to pounce in with our statements (listening with an agenda). Communication is not only important to a relationship; it is the lifeblood of it.

One of the first steps to polishing your relationship's communication is to practice it. You'll both need to practice explaining feelings and situations to one another and you'll have to practice understanding those subtle non-vocal signals as well. Schedule time regularly for just talking and exchanging feelings. Do this with no distractions and diversions present! No TV, radio, video games, etc!

Second, be honest and open about your feelings. Communication grows when openness and honesty is present. This will help you to understand the vulnerability in communication that grows and fosters connectivity between you both. Also, make sure that your openness does not lack tact and gentleness. Being open can have some elements of truth that could be uncomfortable. Your partner is human as are you and neither deserves to have their feelings hurt. No matter how difficult the topic, it can be discussed properly.
Do not fall back on small talk! Don't confuse or rely on "How's the weather?" and "How was work?" to be the foundation of your understanding between one another. Save this for people on elevators or in line at the bank. While every conversation with your honey doesn't have to be earth-shattering, it should not be falling back on small talk. "Small talk fills, communication feels."

Here are four tips to having good conversation

Talk about what you know: Finding something which you both can easily relate to and it will make the conversations so much easier for you to form and deliver.

Listen to what your spouse says: Listen carefully to what your spouse is saying so that when replying to their question, you can refer back to what they asked earlier. This shows that you are paying attention and gives your communication more credibility. Listening to your own voice can also help as it gives you confidence.
Don't be afraid of making a mistake: We all make mistakes when we talk, for instance, using a word in the wrong contents. Continue with the conversation and be sure to clarify what you are saying.

Make a joke: Adding a little bit of humor to your conversation can make your spouse and yourself feel a little less uneasy.

Finally, to increase your level of communication, you'll need to trust. Without trust, communication becomes shielded and starves. The more honesty one of you practices in your communicating, the more the other should open up as well. Remember to keep issues between you two as to grow that sacred foundation between you. Also be sure to incorporate understanding in your trust. Your spouse or partner needs to know that they will not be judged or insulted for their vulnerabilities.