One of the most demanded services in Mariva Psychologists is the couple therapy, being the basis of this the communication.
In our day-to-day relationships not all communication is adequate, and just encouraging it is usually not enough: it is not only a question of quantity, but also of quality. To achieve this communicative quality in our love life, it is often necessary to work in therapy, since it can be complicated for the couple to detect exactly what is failing and what can be done to understand each other better and discuss less.
Despite this, there are basic “rules” of communication that, beyond couple’s therapy, can serve as a basis for promoting a good understanding . Let’s see what they are.
The main rules for good communication between partners
Following these communication guidelines can help make life as a couple easier and not weaken the love bond.
1. Talk about the issue at hand
Try not to “mix up” different topics, especially in discussions. This can lead to a situation where we do not resolve the issue we wanted to talk about, and the conversation drags on without reaching a “good conclusion”.
Neither is it convenient to go to the other extreme and be too insistent on something . If you have already spoken and the problem has been solved, or you simply conclude that you have two different points of view, it is neither necessary nor useful to reiterate and bring up the subject on many occasions.
2. Have a positive and realistic language
When talking about the other person’s behavior, we will try to avoid terms like: “nothing”, “always”, “never”, “everything”… and phrases like: “you are always the same”, “you do everything wrong”, etc. Apart from being quite painful, it is very likely that they don’t show the reality and that you are not being objective. In short, don’t generalize.
Of course, don’t disrespect (don’t insult or shout, control the non-verbal language…). Think about what would hurt you if your partner did it, it’s the basis of communication.
This point is indispensable and, if it fails, it is very difficult for us to fulfill the rest of the aspects or for the relationship to be worked on.
4. Have a positive attitude
In addition to positive language, a positive attitude would be important . Being pessimistic and with a defeatist attitude is not the best way to look for solutions if there is a problem.
5. Highlighting the good
Try to praise what you like about your partner . If we only tell each other the negative aspects, we are not realistic and can encourage irritability and defensiveness in the other.
6. Practice active listening
Let the other person speak and, above all, listen to him/her and try to empathize and understand him/her .
7. Don’t leave anything in the inkwell
Don’t be quiet, if you talk too little and don’t express yourself, it’s difficult for them to understand you.
8. Betting on clarity
Try to express yourself clearly . Avoid the “I say this but I want to say something else”, or “I say yes but I hope my partner will understand that I don’t”. Unless your partner is a fortune teller, it will be difficult for him/her to understand what you mean.
9. Not taking for granted what the other person thinks or wants
We don’t guess at the thought, we must believe what our partner tells us. For example, if they tell us “I’d like to join you” we shouldn’t interpret “sure he doesn’t want to.”
10. Maintaining order in conversation
Try not to interrupt and respect the speaking turns . If you interrupt, you don’t let the person express himself, you don’t listen to him properly…
11. Do not fall on the labels
Don’t label. It’s not the same to say “you left your shoes out” as “you’re a mess and you always leave everything in between”. Here we make the mistake of generalizing (see rule 2) and labeling as a disaster a person who may just be clueless about shoes.
12. Expressing Motivations
To ask for changes in behaviour, be concrete and express how you feel and what you want to achieve . For example: “When you leave your shoes outside, I get nervous and I would like you to remember to keep them in the shoe rack.
Another example: “I would like you to let me know if you are going to arrive later than twelve o’clock, when you don’t I worry, is that OK?
13. Avoiding Ereproches
If we receive criticism or are asked to change our behavior, it is important not to fall into the “and you more” is a defensive attitude, it does not allow us to see why our behavior is annoying .
We must assess whether we can and want to change it, explain why we do it, etc. But the purpose should not be to “fight” against the other and see who makes more mistakes, that could be an eternal and destructive conversation.
By way of conclusion
We know that the hard part is putting it into practice, but we hope that these tips have been useful to you. Try to practice them in your daily life and don’t hesitate to go to couples therapy if you think your relationship can improve in terms of communication or in any other area. Your therapist will guide you through the process and it will be much easier than trying to improve it without this help.