Communication Made Easy With Your Spouse » Daily Mom
Communication. It’s either pleasant, misunderstood, loving, hurtful, or just down right dirty! Any way you spin it, you have much more control over the conversation than you may realize. Consider how a response to certain words can be controlled through conscious, intentional thoughts, or a fly-by-the mill reaction I’ll-probably-regret-this-later-but-oh-well kind of response. Love talk – it’s keeping it real, honest, respectful, simple, and easy, especially with those you love the most.
Let every word that passes from your lips to one another be a kind of love talk. Can you be direct, but nice? Yes. Will you be, is the real question. When you are amid heightened emotions, your first instinct may not be to respond in kindness and complete selflessness (don’t worry, you’re not alone). However, we’ve got a few tips that will help your loving communication grow stronger and better.
Respond before you react.
Think about it. Get your response together in your own head before actually giving it (after fully listening of course). A reaction to someone’s words is usually emotionally driven, which can lead to regretful words being retorted. Instead, listen to what the other person actually said.
Did they use words that are absolutes, words like always and never? Words like these can almost always trigger a defense mechanism inside you. If you feel that welling up inside when you hear those words, then consider how you can lovingly respond knowing they didn’t really mean that. Because you know… they really didn’t mean it. The person you are trying to have a loving conversation with didn’t mean it when they said never or always.
It has become rather habitual in our American culture, unfortunately, because absolutes are rarely the absolute truth.
So how can you lovingly respond? “Honey, how often or so do you feel I actually do (or don’t do) XYZ, and what time, in particular, are you referring to?”
See, that’s not so hard. Guess what? You just lovingly heard the other person and prompted them to think of a specific occasion that they are referring to. Thus bringing back the truth into the conversation and negating the need to defend yourself.
Hearing “always” and “never” may trigger an inward defensive feeling because your amazing brain knows that most situations aren’t truly absolutes, thus it drives a sense of “that’s not true” through your veins and a tendency to react is most common.
Get specific in your responses – especially when you hear always or never (of course, you aren’t saying it – and if you are, you know you can use words like, “it seems like” or “I think that it’s often or not so often that”…), don’t forget to end the conversation with an I love you.
Throw a wrench into your conversation
Ask your partner to randomly insert a very simple, yet intentionally positive phrase while you have a discussion. It can be a casual conversation among friends or a steamy and heated debate over parenting. Disrupting the flow of a conversation may be extremely beneficial, especially if you and your loved one seem to “go at it” a lot.
Interruptions should always (yes, always) be positive without any passive-aggressiveness.
If it’s a serious conversation – begin with this simple request and offer to start.
- You’re beautiful.
- Your eyes are amazingly beautiful.
- How can I serve you later?
- Give me a wink whenever you say…
- Wanna beer?
- I love you.
- You make me a better person.
- I love your ideas.
… and so on. You get the gist of it. What’s fun about this is not only are you making progress discussing what needs to be discussed, but it tends to stay light-hearted, fun, and engaging. It would be very hard to have a conversation like this if one person is trying to multitask on their phone and trying to integrate these phrases. So engagement, intentionality, and respect are the keys here to have love talks.
If they happen to be going on and on before saying a phrase, say it for them (looking them in the eye and meaning it, because you do).
Be intentional with your words.
It’s never a bad idea to expand on one’s vocabulary because it can bring so much clarity and more love to a conversation. Imagine how the misunderstandings between you and your love would be diminished if each and every time you spoke with each other, your words conveyed exactly what you want, need, and love. Likewise, by understanding your intentions while listening to your partner, if they seem like they aren’t quite as clear – help them out.
Ask questions – it never hurts to simply ask, “If I’m understanding you correctly, and please let me know if I am misunderstanding you, but I believe you are saying….”
If you mean always, then legitimately and respectfully use it correctly. If it’s just a feeling, then start with, “I feel like…”.
Never stop saying… I love you, (insert name) and I need…
Though the former seems pretty self-explanatory, it still doesn’t hurt to know why. Sure, you can just say I love you, and some relationships thrive on that. But the power of your words when you combine that with their name – Boom! It’s personal and it’s love. Your words are directed and very intentional; the recipient will know that without a doubt. If there’s one thing we can say about spoken words, it’s that most of them will be doubted on some level.
If you can forgo any doubt within the other person – that’s love talk.
If you don’t hear it often and want to – start saying it. It will be weird at first and you’ll get some funny looks, but be persistent and keep doing it. They need to hear it as much as you need to say it.
“I need…” Yes, you do have needs, and unless you specifically ask… they won’t be met.
If you are thinking,“Well, they should know…”
How’s that? How should they know what you need? Because you spoke it once three years ago in a roundabout way that they didn’t catch then? Well, let’s pretend they don’t know.
Men cannot read your mind, ladies. So you need to help them out a bit.
More often than not, women and men tend not to ask for what they need. Why? Because they have already formulated in their mind a perceived reality that already speculates how the other person will respond. So, they end up not asking at all.
This is the opposite of love-talking. It’s blocking the opportunity for the other person to serve you in love. Check in with yourself and see if this type of communication shows up in other areas of your life and with other people.
Love Talk: Non-verbally
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never hurt me.” Whoever quoted this saying must’ve turned a silent ear towards others (or were deaf). We all know that certain words stir up emotions, feelings, and love. However, there is that other silent player in communication – the non-verbal communicator.
According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, he conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc.). Of course, this number depends on the situation and the individuals involved. Regardless, your non-verbals can say just as much or more than your spoken words.
Is your posture posed in a way that says, “I accept you and your words?” Or, are you guarded, not letting anyone in (crossed-arms are usually seen as a block/defensive gesture)? When you want to express openness and love to your partner or another individual, open your body language up to them. This says that I trust you to love me and accept me.
Also, try connecting physically with the other person. Simply hold their hand, make intentional eye contact, or simply just connecting with them with a light touch. Smiling with your eyes is a dead giveaway for genuineness. If a picture paints a thousand words, the real life version of the picture perfect moment is worth a lifetime. Silently talk love.
Photo Credits: Sarah, pixabay
Tags: avoid fighting with your spouse, communicating with your spouse, communication, conversations, fights, how to say I love you, how to talk, love, marriage, misunderstandings, non verbal speaking, partners, relationships, say what you mean, spouse and marriage, using your words, ways to love
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Andi is all about having a joyous life, living in the present moments. Rocking it out on the homestead with her husband, 9 blessed children and some chickens and ducks, it’s home for her in northern VA. She’s the voice for Mompreneurs who want to get Sh!7 done! www.IAmCoachAndi.com.
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