Tough Time Talking It Out? Maybe It’s Time To Learn Better Communication Skills

By Dominica

-

Last Updated: December 16, 2021

Good communication is very important for a healthy relationship, whether that relationship is personal, professional, or intimate. 

Lack of positive or mature communication in a relationship ranks pretty high on the reasons why so many fail. Talk to relationship therapists and they’ll tell you that if couples could improve one quality in their relationship that would help them the most, it is effective, honest, and mature communication.

In my past struggles with codependency, I had very little communication skills. I would rather keep my feelings inside and let them simmer than risk the chance of my partner reacting negatively to my opinion or qualm. 

Conflict terrified me. After all, I grew up a huge people pleaser. If someone didn’t like me or if they were mad at me, much of my self-esteem flew out the window. 

Try this next: 6 Helpful Ways to Handle Couple Conflict in Your Relationship

 

How Well Do You Communicate?

Make it your goal to become a superb communicator in every area of your life. 

If you have a tough time talking to your kids, partner, boss, friends, etc., it’s time to contend with your fear or lack of skills. I remember wanting to communicate better and at first, I would literally be shaking in my shoes because I feared a negative response. 

But through consistency, emotional maturity, and confidence, I’ve learned to share my feelings, thoughts, concerns, and more in a mature and kind way. 

Learning to communicate has little to do with your self-worth. You are worthy just because you are alive. If you’re with someone who freaks out when you share your feelings in a mature and kind way, it may be time to have a heart to heart about such a reaction. 

Narcissistic people tend to dislike hearing other people’s feelings and/or problems. They consider it a narcissistic injury and can fly off the handle or simply say, “I can’t deal with this! I won’t! Take it elsewhere!” 

On the other end of the spectrum are codependent people who can’t handle hearing other people’s feelings because they take it so personally. They feel attacked, like it’s their fault you feel angry that the dog had an accident on the carpet. 

Both personality types can benefit from learning better communication skills, as well as everyone else on the spectrum. Here are some tips to improve your communication skills:

1. Communicate calmly.

If you want to talk to your spouse about their irresponsible behavior lately, don’t do it when they come home late again, missing dinner, and you’re seeing red. 

Calm yourself down as best as you can before having the conversation. I know this is easier said than done, but it can become a habit to approach topics calmly and maturely. It takes practice.

2. Talk and listen.

Speak your mind, but take the time to listen. 

As you listen, don’t be thinking about what you want to say next. Really listen to the other person and try to understand their heart. If your child is having a meltdown, approach them calmly and ask what is bothering them. Show some compassion. Listen. And then discuss calmly.

3. Don’t text your feelings.

Ever gotten into a text war? Ever spent a whole day in a text war? I have. What a waste of time and energy! 

I made a vow to never text my negative feelings again. So many things can go wrong in a text conversation. You can take one sentence the wrong way and instantly get defensive or angry and off you are in the text war. 

If you’ve got something to say, call the person or get with that person face to face. This will give you time to think about what you want to say and time to cool off if need be. 

4. Make time to talk.

Life can get so busy, and so often we find ourselves talking about the weather, jobs, kids, sports, and the news and neglect some of the more intimate and meaningful topics.

When is the last time you had a discussion with your partner about their dreams, goals, fears, or accomplishments?

When is the last time you sat with your children and just talked?

I mean really engaged in a meaningful and heartfelt conversation? 

Make some time to really talk - consistently. If you’re in a relationship, get underneath the surface topics. Go on a date regularly and delight in each other talking for hours and hours like you did when you first met. 

Take your kids on a walk or lie with them for a few minutes when you tuck them in. Ask them questions. Ask them to share. Make the time.

5. Be honest and kind.

Honesty without kindness is really just you being mean. I’ve done that. I’ve heard myself saying, “I’m just being honest!” and I was, but I was not being kind at the same time. Today, I do my best to say what I feel needs to be said, but from a heart of compassion and love. 

Remember that kindness matters.

6. Make a list.

If you forget what you want to talk about, make a list beforehand. I’ve done this. When I wanted to have a serious conversation about some things in my former relationship, I would make a list and take it with me. I did this so I didn’t forget some things that I considered important. You can do the same.

7. Remove “always” and “never” from your vocabulary

The words “always” and “never” do not belong in a conversation because they are almost always an exaggeration. Use phrases like, “I feel like you complain a lot” instead of “You always complain,” or “I feel like you don’t spend enough time with me,” instead of “You NEVER spend time with me.” 

Remove the exaggeration.

8. Say I’m sorry.

Sometimes you’re going to be wrong or do something that hurts another person. Be the kind of person who can own such and just say, “I’m really sorry.” You don’t have to go on and on or conjure up reasons why you felt justified or anything like that.

Just a simple apology goes so far in a relationship, as long as it is heartfelt. 

 

Good Communication Takes Practice

I hope that these tips help you become a better communicator.

As part of my recovery from codependency, I had to take a season and really get serious about learning how to communicate my feelings, issues, and concerns instead of stuffing them. 

If you happen to have a difficult time and you’ve already tried many ways to change, perhaps it’s time for you to see a therapist. Couples therapy is quite beneficial, especially when the couple is having a hard time communicating and getting through some issues. 

It could be the best investment you could make in your relationship and life. 

Take time to communicate openly, honestly, and with kindness.

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

5 comments on “Tough Time Talking It Out? Maybe It’s Time To Learn Better Communication Skills”

  1. I like the topic of communication. Very insightful. I would like to add
    the importance of knowing each other's personality types. One person might communicate in detail the partner might need pointers.

  2. Thanks for this valuable tips for all form of communications. I have certainly gained by knowing about Never and Always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.