Withholding communication from your partner is the first step in the wrong direction. Not saying what you need to say can drive a wedge between partners that can take time to extract.
Consider this familiar exchange from Therapist, Kristen McClure:
Her: “Everything is fine” (As she looks away from him, shrinks from his touch and displays body language that suggests she is pretty pissed off).
Him: “Oh, good.” (Knowing he’s in trouble, knowing she’s mad, but having no idea why and terrified about how and when he will find out).
Gals… you recognize this counter-intuituve inter-action, right? Some Guys will too.
Have you ever wanted to say something to your partner, but just couldn’t get the words out? So, instead you just say, “Fine!” Saying what you really “feel” can be both what holds you back from getting what you want and what stops you from experiencing the Love that two partners should be sharing with each other. It’s becoming vulnerable in that moment and saying what you need to say in the most loving way you can.
“Effective communication – especially in times of conflict – calls for a focused dedication and repetitious practice. It calls for honest self-evaluation, humility, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to change according to the needs of the relationship. And it takes (at least) two.” ~ Thom Rutledge, LCSW
I want you
To say what you need to say
Don’t just walk away
Say what you need to say
Don’t just turn away from me
Cause our picture in the frame
Is slowly starting to fade away
I don’t want to lose you
So say what you need to say. – (Words by John Mayer, Copyright © 2014 ~ Sony/ATV Tunes LLC)
Undelivered communications is a major part of the overall problem of any communication issue! It’s important for your own mental health to not withhold; to say what you’re feeling, not in an angry, mean or accusing way but saying it none the less. Get what’s bothering you off your chest. Elaborate, lovingly. Know that this is a necessary conversation. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself once you do.
Do you have the guts to say what you need to say? It’s far more frightening if you don’t say anything. That keeps you stuck and your partner off balance.
He or she is asking, “What’s wrong” or “What is troubling you?” Look at those questions as an opportunity to speak what is on your mind. Speak up.
If things are not okay… say so. It’s also important to think before you speak. Edit your words to make them more specific. Be decisive. No blame. Speak to seek understanding.
“The best way to start and maintain a conversation is to keep it focused on you and your feelings and then at the end ask for what you want to have happen. Afterward, you can say something like ‘You don’t have to respond to me now. Take some time to think about it and let me know, but I just needed to let you know how I was feeling.'” ~ Cynthia Kane
If you are the partner on the opposite side of this dilemma, you would be wise to understand that your partner may be afraid to say what he or she is feeling. Resist the need to become angry or defensive. Avoid any emotional reaction. Instead you may say something like this: “I can tell that things are not fine… so when you are ready to talk about it, I promise I will be here to listen. I love you.”
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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