Communicating Effectively with your Partner
Clear and authentic communication is essential for a healthy relationship. A mindful partnership involves a place of understanding from where an individual is coming from. Clear boundaries and a respective responsibility of each other, as being unique is central for growth and belongingness. If a connection is fragmented, individuals cannot exist as one, than the relationship cannot be whole. Partners develop a dance around one another’s problems and develop dysfunctional patterns that are projected on the partner and world.
Therefore, a healthy partnership revolves around letting go (being vulnerable) and accepting the relationship for what it is, who there are, and how they engage. Acquiring these attributes involves the removal of need, fear, and obsession. If we allow ourselves to be vulnerable than we allow ourselves to make a deep connection.
In addressing this concept back to direct communication, a disagreement is not about winning or losing yet about understanding. Conflict is a natural part of relating yet if an individual feels that they lost than they will feel empty and avoid engaging in the future. The goal of the conflict/disagreement is to come to a place where the hurt can be expressed and understood. It does not mean that they have to agree yet understand how their partner feels and how it reflects back to their connection. If a couple can navigate hardships than they can develop a stronger bond. Exploration of pain and sorrow can equate to serenity and happiness.
A few keys to communicating to your partner in an effective fashion:
- Be present while discussing serious matters and do not attempt to multi-task or complete other tasks. Be available to listen to your mate without any distractions. Be aware how you are responding. If it is out of habit, fear, or anger, take a step back and reflect upon how you are feeling. Process the emotion and return when you are capable of expressing your true emotions. Fear based stances (anger or withdrawal) lead to more frustration and resentment. Attempt to be vulnerable and express the fears such as feeling guilt, shame, or sadness to your partner.
- Tone and body language – Are you acting and sounding critical or absent. A partner wants to feel understood and safe. Provide a comfortable forum for them to express themselves openly.
- Are you controlling or manipulating – A partnership requires faith, not fear. There is no room for jealousy or control. A relationship is developed based acceptance and love for one another. Don’t get confused that controlling, needing someone or being stifled equates to being loved.
- Use “I” statements, and avoid “You” comments as much as possible. The word “You” activates defenses and can stop the process of listening in a flash. Utilizing “I” to express yourself requires emotional expression, which allows the partner to hear how you feel.
- The Hard work – Relationships are not easy, communicating to your partner about your needs that are meaningful require deliberate work. Grind it out and put in the time and strength. Healthy relationships are not built over night.