Relationship Rules for Effective Communication (Part 1)

Relationship Rules for Effective Communication

Do you know this feeling? You are angry. You want to throw yourself at your partner both physically and verbally. You want to show them how much they are wrong and how right you are with all your strength.

There is no need to answer me because everyone who has contemplated fighting fair knows what I am talking about. If we behave that way there will be no relationship left. Right?

We will be like some primitive people who cannot converse but also have never heard of communication, conversation and rules. I will share with you what I do in such situations and in this way I will present to you:

Relationship Rules for Effective Communication

First, when I feel stressed, I take whatever time I need to compose myself while looking for the most effective way to share what I want to say with the person I am in conflict with.

I use all the communication skills I have learned, taking time to listen to my partner’s point of view with as open a mind as I can.

I use appropriate phrases, such as “I hear you” and “I appreciate what you are saying,” without negating them with a “but;” rather, I expand on what they have said with an “and….”

A typical communication you might use with your partner could be: “I hear what you’re saying about what you think is happening, and I think [fill in the blank] might be happening too!” or, “I appreciate what you’re saying about that. Let me add to that by saying…”

True or False? The sentence that opens iron doors: “I understand.”

These are much softer ways of adding your thoughts to a topic that doesn’t leave the other person feeling backed into a corner. The other can feel heard, and may even be more open to hear what you want to say.

One phrase I really try to avoid using is “I understand.” The truth is we can never truly understand another’s position. In fact, the best we can do is hear it and acknowledge someone else’s experience of whatever is going on as that person’s truth, even if it does not fit with ours. We may attempt as well as we can see an event from another’s perspective, but that may only get us near to what’s really happening.

Our aim when in conflict however is simply to understand as best we can by taking the time to really listen first.

The difference between empathetic and sympathetic

Trying so see something through another’s eyes (even though we never truly can) is what it means to be empathetic as opposed to just sympathetic.

The difference is that being sympathetic is to feel sorry for someone else who is feeling bad.

To be empathetic, however, is to feel what someone else feels (as closely as possible).

It can never be exactly the same as it is for them simply because our life experiences are different but for some it is very close.

Most importantly, my rules for effective communication include a strong resistance against defending myself or shutting down (even though, I admit, it does not always work!).

I would like to transfer to you my whole experience and be useful for everyone who has decided to learn to communicate with the person they love.

The greatest reward for me as a professional would be to succeed in teaching you to love each other, to be happy with your relationship, to argue when you need to, to communicate, to be real in the interactions you create.

Write to me and share if you have any questions regarding what I’ve written so far on this topic. It is such a big topic though that I will say more in my next blog on “Relationship Rules for Effective Communication”.

To the wonder of you,





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