5 ways from psychologists to sharpen your communication skills. The majority of us are aware of how crucial communication is in a relationship. But many of us also fail to communicate effectively when it’s time to put things into practice.
That’s because excellent intentions by themselves are insufficient. Communication is a set of skills that must be developed, and in the setting of love relationships when demands diverge and emotions are strong, those abilities need even more practice.
Communication problems in relationships are divided into two parts: content-related problems and process-related problems
Communication issues in partnerships may be categorized into two parts, according to clinical psychologist, professor, and professional speaker Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D. are content-related issues and process-related issues. Communication problems that are caused by content include issues like economics or sleeping preferences.
The majority of couples experience problems with process-related communication obstacles, which have to do with things like how you settle disputes or how you make choices together. According to Sultanoff, the resolution of a couple’s differences is what ultimately determines whether their relationship will remain connected or fall apart.
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5 ways from psychologists can improve your communication skills. So you can avoid communication problems that often occur in your relationship
1. Move Beyond the Surface-Level Subject
Most likely, your argument isn’t about the dishes at all. You’re debating the topic of not feeling appreciated or supported. And as a result, you’re most likely experiencing resentment. According to clinical psychologist, researcher, and author Paul DePompo, PsyD, ABPP, “When couples try to talk about difficulties, they too often communicate at the surface level.”
He asserts that if you probe beneath the rage or fury at the center of a dispute, you frequently uncover other emotions like pain or fear. In light of this, consider how you really feel about the current situation and what it is making you think about.
I urge males to seek for these feelings rather than limiting themselves to the overt ones. To act in this way in your relationship is not a sign of weakness, according to DePompo. Saying “I was scared I wasn’t enough” or “I was saddened that you forgot” might resemble this.
2. Use A Two-Phase Communication Approach
According to Dr. Nick Bach, a clinical psychologist who specializes in marital and relationship counseling, “It’s crucial to conceive about communication in two phases.” The first stage entails active and thoughtful listening, validating emotions, and developing empathy for the viewpoints of others. The “fixing” happens in the second step. Here, you may come up with ideas, make deals, work out issues, and choose what needs to get done.
According to Bach, many men have a tendency to enter the second phase of communication too early with the goal of addressing the issue, but this can backfire when a partner wants to be heard and understood. In order to have better talks, try to spend more time in phase one.
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3. Listen without the intent of correcting or being right
To that end, effective listening is one of the most underappreciated communication skills. Instead of responding, proposing a solution, or attempting to win an argument, try to listen to understand. You may do this by engaging in reflective listening, which is reflecting back in your own words what your conversation partner has stated.
What this may resemble is as follows:
- “I can’t believe you made arrangements with your buddies when I informed you weeks ago that we had to go see my mom that day,” she says. She wanted to visit you too, so I feel guilty about traveling by myself.
- The two of us talked about meeting your mom weeks ago, so I understand that you are concerned about my intentions. She was looking forward to meeting us both on that day, but now you’re angry about it.
This either gives the other the impression that they are understood (which usually encourages further sharing), or gives them a chance to clear up any misconceptions. According to Sultanoff, misconceptions abound in most communication.
The pair may get on the same page and avoid talking past each other by clarifying using contemplative listening. Reflective listening fosters emotional intimacy, which is its greater advantage. Reflective listening facilitates the process of feeling understood, which is one of the essential components of emotional closeness, continues Bach.
5 Ways from Psychologists to Sharpen Your Communication Skills
4. Validate Your Partnership
But what if your spouse is expressing an opinion with which you disagree? One of the hardest communication skills to master—and one that will make you a pro at handling conflict—is validating your partner’s emotions, even when you don’t agree with what they are saying (Not to mention the deeper, more romantic connection it will encourage in your relationship).
Once you affirm what they’re saying, adds DePompo, “your spouse is probably able to hear you.” Bach concurs: “This does not imply that you are endorsing their arguments, reasoning, or supporting data.” You are only confirming their feelings.
Saying, “That’s not true, we spent a lot of time together recently and just went on a trip”, may be appropriate if your partner mentions feeling lonely. You can help validate their feelings by saying something along the lines of “I understand that you are feeling lonely even though we have been spending time together”, which will enable you to have a better dialogue rather than get into a quarrel.
5. Conduct frequent check-ins
You shouldn’t only prioritize communication improvement when you are having problems; it should be a constant, ongoing endeavor. Regular check-ins can help prevent tension from rising. This can be as easy as setting out 15 minutes each day to talk about and listen to each other’s feelings and worries.
Problems might mount without a routine check-in, and then, all of a sudden, someone passes gas, and the partner says, “I am fed up with all your contempt for me.” Have time to check in and make sure you work through relationship problems together; otherwise, you’ll start to form a poor opinion of your partner, and they’ll do the same, adds DePompo. “Talking to each other keeps you linked and on the same page.”
As with any skill, communication skills can be improved by practice and trial-and-error. You might be surprised at how much your relationship improves, if you keep the practices mentioned above in mind and incorporate them into your daily talks with your partner.
Hopefully this article can add to your insight. Thanks for reading 5 ways from psychologists to sharpen your communication skills. Like this post? You can share with your partner and your friends so they can get the same value.
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