Are you sitting down? I've been married more times than any one person should be. Being married to three men teaches you some things that you never would have realized were so important.
My first husband was not a communicator at all. His style of communication was, "What I say goes!"
My second husband I believe was part clam. His style of commnunication was, "If I don't say anything, there's nothing wrong."
My third husband was a confused communicator. His style of communication was, "I'm right, but I'm not going to tell you. I don't like what your doing, so I'm going to let it build until I explode."
Luckily I have found the best means of communications with my fiance. We both have been with people who have held communication values that we didn't understand. I'll give you some tips that we use to keep the relationship going strong:
1. Step back: When a situation really bothers you, back up. I'm an exploder. I am just as happy saying, "You're an idiot, if you wouldn't have done ***insert annoying thing here*** I wouldn't be so mad. Why don't you go jump in the river?"
That is NOT the way to go about it. I have to take a step back from the situation, and talk to myself before I talk to my fiance. Ahead of time my fiance and I sat down and I told him about my exploding nature. I told him that if I walk away from an argument, or ask to not speak about something that he respect my choice. When I've had time to work through my attitude I can come back and work on the next tip.
2. Watch how you say it: So I'm not ready to explode any more, and the above statement can not work. I can say, "You're an idiot," because that will put my fiance on the defensive. We certainly don't want that. So after you have had time to calm down rephrase your sentences like this:
When you did ***insert annoying thing here*** , it made me feel as if you didn't take my feelings into consideration.
, my feelings were really hurt.
When you do this, you show that their actions caused a feeling in you. Remember all feelings are valid, it's just what you do with those feelings that make them OK or not. In the first step, we told our loved one to jump in the river. That's not a good way to express your feelings.
3. The thing that my fiance and I do most often is make sure that if we have concerns about something and we fear that it may upset the other we say, "Honey, I need to talk. I don't mean this to come off as (rude, negative, condencending, mean, etc.)" When we say this, we know that anything that is said is not an attack, it's letting the other person express their opinion, even if it may hurt.
How do you communicate with your loved ones?