Communicate Better In Your Relationship
Hello, All Who May Be Reading This. It is precisely 7:24 pm, Eastern Standard Time, and I am still pondering on how to communicate that I have been ignoring texts to my boyfriend because I have been writing this special post. It is no mystery that relationships have their battles, I mean you cannot be with a completely different person for a long time without realizing that they are, indeed, a completely different person. Wait, my boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t my clone? I thought soulmates were just supposed to get each other, no, no, no. And sorry to break it to you but that will never be the case.
A lot of times, relationships are hard, and I just wanted to address the elephant in the room the things couples break up over, argue over, and if you haven’t guessed it already it is the magical term called, communication. Why is communication so hard? After 24 years of life, I still do no know the answer to that question. I mean we learn to talk from the womb, and continue collaborating with friends, colleagues, family members as we grow, learn and interact. How can people still have trouble with communication when it has been happening all our lives, naturally? Here’s my story.
I am with a man, who respects me, loves me for who I am and completely knows what I stand for. He has been nothing but my best friend since the first time we met. I guess I got lucky finding a romantic relationship with one of my best friends and the first year, was as I expected, nothing less than perfect. We’ve been together almost 2 years now, and the past few months have been nothing but arguing. Most people would see this as a red flag, maybe its tiring on occasion, I mean who really likes to argue other than lawyers and newscasters on CNN? The arguing was more similar to CNN than you might think, our common thread to these arguments, was miscommunication. I was frazzled for a while, going crazy , hoping I wouldn’t lose my relationship, which is a silly thought considering that none of our fights were really fights, it was like dogs fighting over the only chew toy in the room, trying to best each other, steal the item, or intimidate. Instead of arguing to solve a problem, we were arguing to get our own points across, listening was not a priority after the first year mark, we were listening to ourselves talk. And as I know there are all sorts of communication problems out there, a lot more serious than mine, I thought I’d shed some light on what I have learned post-argue phase so that if you are going through it yourself, you can start the ceasefire now, rather than later.
In my own relationship, I can tell you, some people might have given up because it is not easy to learn how to communicate with someone who is thinks and speaks completely different than you, but that is the fun of it. After finally understanding what went wrong, It was an easy fix. If you are not meeting eye to eye with your partner, you might be thinking that all hope is lost, you might be getting more frustrated than usually, you might be confused on how you got here, STOP. If both of you are willing to compromise, even the most frustrating arguments can seem easy, and you can get out of the argument phase wiser and better than when you started. And if you are looking for a reason out, just get out now, nobody needs that.
Be Honest With Yourself: First of all , arguing in a relationship can be good, and healthy. It shows that you both are honest in talking about whatever you want and that you trust the other person with your opinion enough to put it out there into the abyss for judgement and criticism. However if you have been experiencing what I have experienced, and you are reading this, I can tell you right now, that the arguing between you and your significant other is persistent for a reason . There is most likely a communication issue that is not being understood, so it keeps on repeat, like a broken record because both needs are not being met. In order to fix it, you both , as a couple, must respect a few things.
We Are Different People: Understand that you both have different ways of communicating to begin with. Your pasts, your friends, everything that has culminated and created you into the person you are today. Yes, everything that has happened to you, has not happened to your partner at exactly the same time. Again, lets remind ourselves, you are not dating yourself, and you definitely shouldn’t. Know that, and this is not a generalization, but women are just more emotional. Women like to talk more, they are more in touch with their emotions, men can be too, but in general men and women are different kinds of communicators. We are polar opposites. In the men I have dated I have seen something called the “man cave”, it is an expression where men typically go into a distant place away from the problem in order to deal with whatever they have to deal with. Space time if you will, to either avoid the argument all together or because they are so frustrated that they can’t help but walk somewhere and shake it off. If you love them, take a deep breath, respect your partner’s space, and your communication will improve from understanding how they communicate and handle stress.
Identify Your Stress-or Points and Take A Breath: Next thing, if something is stressing you both out, if it is the arguing, the miscommunications, the job, your schedule, whatever the case may be, focus on how stressed out you are and why. Take a deep breath and do what de-stresses you best, first, take care of YOU. If your significant other is stressed out too and it is effecting your communication, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t take it out on each other. It kills any chance of improvement and knocks out any chance of healthy communication. Easier said than done right? I know. From personal experience I have done the latter, and it has gotten me nowhere. It isn’t easy to de-stress that fast before you and your partner get heated at each other, but if you keep a calm attitude and take a step back from the stress you will be better off communicating what you want and need. Try sitting down, setting boundaries for noise levels and communicating in a calm matter until the problem is fixed. No one is allowed to raise their voice, call each other names, or interrupt. Bringing a jab starting argument down to a calm environment, will relieve stress and help you fix the problem, together. Come up with a mantra or a hobby to relax you, because your significant other is going to be OKAY, and so will YOU.
Communication is a skill, and a learning experience. It is the MAIN reason why relationships fail. If you both have a solid communication foundation assess your situation, figure out how you feel, what you want out of your relationship and how they feel, handle things, etc. and you’ll be on your way to improving your relationship.
People are different, the way people think, act and feel are just, different. You are allowed to be yourself, you are allowed to express your ideas, understand that your significant other might see your words or ideas differently than you, and that is okay, compromise on something you both believe in to start a strong foundation. Be aware of what is going on when you argue, identify the simple miscommunication cues, and fix it together. Don’t lose your hope yet, you got this! And remember, to breathe!
xoxo, Jess B