One of the things we hear most from our couple’s clients is that they want to work on their communication. Learning how to communicate with a partner is a skill, something to be learned and practiced. In the beginning healthy communication may feel artificial, but if you are willing to put in the effort, the rewards will be tremendous. In this excerpt from Susan McQuillan‘s article “Speak Up”, we are sharing some key communication skills to practice. If you would like to be guided in your communication ‘education’ we would be happy to help!
• Avoid blame. By not blaming, you show that you understand your perspective is not the only one, and that you’re not the only one who has suffered.
• Speak about your own feelings and actions, not the other person’s. This voids putting the other person on the defensive. For example, if, when you were young, everyone in your family was allowed to have dessert except you, rather than confront your mother about her unfair rules, tell her how you felt when you were a child and about the secret relationship you developed with food as a result.
• Be honest with yourself and to the other person. Admit your own mistakes.
• Make it clear that you’re open to hearing the other person’s side–and try hard to follow through!
• Stay focused on your feelings, rather than the problem itself. If you repeatedly say “I feel” or “I felt,” you’re less like to sound confrontational.
• If the conversation provokes anger on either side, stop and take a break.
• Be willing to listen, forgive, and move on from the hurt.
Source: Psychology Today
Title: Speak Up!
Author: Susan McQuillan, M.S., RDN