Straight from The Heart

What about your communication? 

by Njideka Eze

Communication is very
important in relationships, I mean in all types of relationships, not just
romantic relationships. And this include both the verbal and nonverbal.

Remember that relationship is a connection and exchange between people.
Communication plays a large role in the exchange between people. What do you
exchange? You exchange information in the form of ideas, wants, desires,
feelings, and much more. Incomplete or stopped communication can create a block
in the relationship. A block in the relationship exists or will grow when
communication is just flat out avoided.

Have you asked yourself questions
like where is your relationship leading to? Have you ever taken time to discuss
the issue of getting married and when in your relationship? Do you also know
that some people may not want their relationships to end in marriage?  So, have you sat down in a conversation about
this? It’s funny how some people sit and wait for their guys to come slip in
the proposal ring when they are not even thinking about that

You have seen on social media or
heard things like Proposal gone wrong. Why did it go wrong you may ask? They
didn’t discuss this before the guy took that step.

Have you ever been confused and
shared your frustrations with a close friend? How did you feel afterwards?
Relieved? Yes, that’s it. It is same when you talk with your friend, the
problem will be half solved. Remember the saying, Problem shared is half solved.
This is because you have someone close to you who
will support you

Effective communication is all you
need, this enables you to sort out your problems with ease together.

So how can you achieve this

  • Stop and
    listen.

This is pretty hard especially when
you are in an argument. Both of you want to talk and be heard at the same time.
So, when you are in such moments, you will hardly remember to pause and listen.
It is always very difficult to put aside our points of view for a moment and
listen. You may have been in this type of situation, so were you able to
achieve anything?  We are often so afraid
of not being heard, we rush and keep talking. Ironically, such behavior makes it
even harder to be heard.

  • Force
    yourself to hear.

Ok, finally, you have stopped
talking for the moment, but your head is still filled with all the things you
want to say, so you’re still not really hearing what the other person is saying.
You only kept quite so that there will be peace but, did you hear what your
partner just said.

You need to get his or her
attention. so, try this: let him or her repeat what he or she just said. You
could pretend you didn’t hear well. This will help bring down the tension and
get the other persons attention. You can say I don’t really think I understand
what you are saying, could you please come again? But be careful so your partner
doesn’t feel mocked

  • Be open
    and honest with your partner. 

Some people might not even know themselves
or know much about their own real needs and desires. So, to be in a
relationship is to take a step toward opening up your life and opening up yourself.

Little lies turn into big lies.
Pretending everything is alright isn’t alright. And giving your partner the
silent treatment may not help you achieve anything.  These things may have “worked” for you in the
past, but they are all barriers to good communication.

Being open means talking about
things you may have never talked about with another human being before in your
life. It means being vulnerable and honest with your partner, completely and
unabashedly. It means opening yourself up to possible hurt and disappointment.
But it also means opening yourself up to the full potential of all a
relationship can be.

4. Pay attention to nonverbal
signals.

Most of our communication with one
another in any friendship or relationship isn’t what we say, but how we say
it
. Nonverbal communication is your body language, the tone of your voice,
its variation, eye contact, and how far away you are when you talk to someone
else. Learning to communicate better means that you need to learn how to read
these signals as well as hear what the other person is saying. Reading your
partner’s nonverbal signals takes time and patience, but the more you do it,
the more attuned you will be to what they’re really saying, such as:

  • Folded arms in front of a person may mean they’re feeling
    defensive or closed off.
  • Lack of eye contact may mean they’re not really
    interested in what you’re saying, are ashamed of something, or find it
    difficult to talk about something.
  • Louder, more aggressive tone may mean the person is
    escalating the discussion and is becoming very emotionally involved. It
    might also suggest they feel like they’re not being heard or understood.
  • Someone who is turned away from you when talking to you
    may mean disinterest or being closed off.

All the while you’re reading your
partner’s nonverbal signals, be aware of your own. Make and maintain eye
contact, keep a neutral body stance and tone to your voice, and sit next to the
person when you’re talking to them.

5. Stay focused in the here and now.

Sometimes discussions turn into
arguments, that can then transform into a discussion about everything. To be
respectful of one another and the relationship, you should try and keep the
discussion (or argument) focused on the topic at hand. While it is easy to
bring up everything that an argument seems to call for, just don’t. If the
argument is about not picking or returning calls, don’t veer off, don’t
remember the day the other person dressed down and so on.

Arguments that do veer off tend to
escalate and grow larger and larger. One party needs to make an effort at that
point to try and de-escalate the argument, even if it means walking away from
it, literally. But do so as respectfully as possible, saying something like,
“Look, I can see this isn’t going to get any better by discussing it further.
Let’s sleep on it and try talking about it with fresh eyes in the tomorrow,
okay?”

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