Are Poor Communication Skills Keeping You From Maintaining the Quality of Marriage Intimacy You Want in Your Relationship?
What do you think? Are you in an intimate relationship? Do you believe it’s essential to have good communication in your relationship in order to create the kind of closeness and connection you want?
If so, here’s a tip that we guarantee will help you do just that.
Start by truly understanding the other person’s point of view. Very often when couples start communicating about a problem or dissatisfaction the first thing they hear from their partner sounds like a criticism or a complaint. This is a critical point in the conversation and very often where the communication begins to break down.
This happens as often as it does because most people think in terms of strategies–what they want and the most effective way they think they can get it. This strategy often takes the form of a complaint–how you could change to help them get what they want or a criticism–what your doing “wrong” that is keeping them from getting what they want.
It’s Not About You
Understanding what someone deeply values or the need they’re trying to meet underneath the criticism or complaint is critical to creating genuinely satisfying relationships. Taking the lead in this area is something that you can do immediately to help improve the quality of your communication and in turn, your entire relationship.
Certainly, one way to find out what’s under their complaint is simply to ask them. It’s a place to start, but it’s not always the most effective way of getting to the truth about what a person really values. As we pointed out above, people often think in terms of their strategies as opposed the value or need that is stimulating the strategy.
If you began a conversation by talking about a problem in the relationship and you ask them what they want about the problem you may hear things like, “I want you to _____” (fill in the blank).
- Spend more time with me
- Stop being such a know-it-all
- Listen when I’m talking, etc
Clearly, these statements just tell you what they want you to do, not what they value, not what need they’re trying to meet. Getting to the underlying values hidden in these statements may require a little detective work on your part. Don’t just take their answers at face value; dig down beneath the surface to find out what values are at the base of what they want.
As an example, let’s dig under these statements and discover what the person might value that had them say what they did.
- Spend more time with me, is probably stimulated by the longing for more connection or intimacy.
- Stop being such a know-it-all, could be a desire for acknowledgment or appreciation for what they know.
- Listen when I’m talking, might be coming from a wish to be understood clearly.
Once you have an idea about what the other person values and what’s most important to them, many other strategies will become obvious for helping them experience these essential qualities.
And for you, it will be much easier to relate them and want to support them then it would be if all you continue to hear was the criticism or complaints.