In any Online Relationship Counseling session you’ll find that either the problem or the solution is communication. We have all heard this before and this has been drilled into us by every expert; communication is key when it comes to relationships. But why is it so important and why do we generally tend to suck at it?
Well, it’s probably because our understanding of communication can sometimes let us down. Communication is much more complex than people realise.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that communication can be verbal as well as nonverbal. That means that you can communicate things to your partner without even saying a word. This is also where the ball often gets dropped since nonverbal communication relies heavily on perception & personal experience and can often lead to assumptions and misunderstandings.
Having open communication, as is encouraged during Online Relationship Counseling sessions, can have many benefits:
- You are sharing parts of yourself with your partner
- Everyone is clear about their thoughts and feelings
- You can address any fears of rejection or triggering together
- It allows the relationship to adapt to both your needs as ever-changing individuals as time goes by
- It helps intimacy and connection grow within the relationship
- You can avoid misunderstandings
- It can clarify expectations
There are many couples who find communication in general quite daunting. This could be for a wide variety of reasons i.e. personality types, hidden fears, avoiding conflict etc. But a couple that doesn’t communicate with one another has basically signed the relationships death certificate without even realising it. Luckily this is a habit and behaviour that can be changed with the help of experts during and online relationship counseling session.
The good news is that all people and couples are unique and therefor there is no one-size-fits-all successful communication formula. But if you follow some of these helpful guidelines, you’ll be well on your way:
There are different strokes for different folks
As we’ve already touched on, everyone’s unique. That means that although everyone is communicating on a daily basis, the way we communicate can be completely different. This is why it’s so important for you to identify communication styles; not just your own, but also your partners. Do they have a need for in-depth discussions? Are they expressing themselves in physical touch? Do they put more stock in how things are said than what is said? Miscommunication can only occur if the way we convey and receive information is not in sync. You can avoid a lot of unnecessary frustration and misconceptions if you take the time to learn about each other’s communication styles.
Figure out what you really need
This might call for some serious introspection on you and your partner’s part. Did you know that we all have six basic needs that we just prioritize differently? Once you know how you rank these needs by importance, communication will also be more effective. The six fundamental needs are:
- Certainty – This relates to how secure and safe you feel in a relationship
- Variety – This keeps a relationship fun and exciting
- Significance – This relates to what makes you feel unique and important
- Connection & Love – This relates to how you experience connection and love
- Growth – This relates to how we endeavour to grow emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and otherwise
- Contribution & Giving – This relates to how we contribute to each other’s happiness
Are you really meeting each other’s needs? This is pretty easy to do if you ask the right questions and really listen. But remember; listening also calls for reflection. If you already know that you are not a very good natural listener or you’re simply unsure whether you understand your partner correctly, be a mirror. Repeat what you think you heard your partner say and have them confirm it. And be careful not to interrupt; there’s a big difference between communicating & interjecting.
Honesty is still the best policy
You need to call a spade a spade. We are not promoting being harsh and hurtful. But as any expert will tell you during your Online Relationship Counseling session; you need to be open, honest & very clear about your feelings and your needs. Many couples actively avoid these kinds of discussions or have “watered down” conversations in an effort to avoid an argument. The sad news is that disagreements do not disappear. Avoidance only racks up resentment and unresolved issues which finally erupts as a completely destructive verbal assault. Avoidance is merely putting off and unintentionally escalating the unavoidable. Ignoring issues will only erode your relationship. Your relationship go-to should be to communicate and resolve any points of concern.
A healthy relationship requires dedicated time and 100% focused attention. You can’t possibly be persuaded to believe that communication is truly effective or your relationship will grow if you’re constantly dividing your attention. Whether you are a successful business man/woman or have three toddlers running around the house – whatever your situation, you need to set time aside during which you make your relationship your number one priority. You need to be present and make your partner feel like they have your full attention. This is also where Online Relationship Counseling comes in handy if you’re afraid that life will simply get in the way of meaningful conversation without a set appointment.
You need to let sleeping dogs lie
If you ever find that you are rehashing the past during a disagreement (whether related or unrelated to that specific fight), you need to hit the brakes immediately. This means that you have unresolved issues in the past or you’re trying to divert/manipulate the conversation away from the issue at hand. Always remember; you cannot change or alter the past. It can be discussed and refrained from in future, but serves absolutely no purpose in your present. If you’re scared that a conflict situation can spiral out of control, always remind yourself that you are essentially the number one fan of the person in front of you and need to treat then accordingly.
You need to break the cycle
This is probably the hardest thing to do and as one gets older and more set in one’s ways it gets even harder. That is why it’s so important to nip things in the butt before they become serious problems and embrace the opportunity of receiving some Online Relationship Counseling. We can form habits over time which can be destructive without us even realising it. We’ve already touched on the fact that communication is not always what you say, but how you say it. And how you say it can be broken down into:
These are things you need to be mindful of. A habit of sounding overly high-pitched can be perceived as defensive and immature without us even having the intention to. People also tend to start talking much faster when disagreeing and make you appear frantic and anxious. Volume is also something that can sneak up on you. It’s something that can slowly build alongside the emotion. When we’re in a volume battle to be heard, we often don’t even realize before it’s too late. Being the loudest doesn’t make you the better communicator.
Timbre is not the incorrect spelling and has nothing to do with chopping down trees. Timbre is the quality of the way you talk i.e. tone and attitude. If you ever catch yourself being sarcastic or in any way mocking to purposefully hurt your partner, major red flags are flying everywhere. But once again; these are not complete deal breakers and can be addressed during Online Relationship Counseling.
You need to start over
We’ve all seen that cheesy moment in the movies where someone in the relationship has messed up and they reintroduce themselves in an attempt to start over. Well, turns out it’s not just a novel ideal from the screenwriters. When the discussion has truly gone up the creek without a paddle and you’ve somehow managed to still stumble into every pattern you’ve both actively tried to avoid, there’s nothing else to do but start over. Find the moment where you can turn things around with a bit of sharp wit and humour. Humour will help you regain balance and perspective and is an instantaneous stress reliever.
Communication is challenging to any couple. The most important part is not to have your communication fall into a cycle of hostility, hurt and retreat. This is the beginning of the end for most relationships. If you are proactively trying to work on your communication skills as a couple or you want to address certain communication issues that’s already come to the surface, contact Personal Online Therapy and book your Online Relationship Counseling session today by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or filling in the form below: