Couple communication may well be the most challenging of all types of communication. Why, you may say. It is because you are so vulnerable in a couple relationship. This partner of yours can hurt you with words. Thus, they need to be chosen carefully and wisely. Here are a few tips, if you are open minded to hear them.

  1. MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITY IS MAKING A DECISION THAT IS SATISFACTORY TO BOTH OF YOU: Couple communication needs to be a win-win proposition. Each person should state his/her position and then a respectful sharing should take place, resulting in a compromise that each person can live with. For example, here is a starting sentence that sets the tone: “I want to get away on vacation this year and I want to find a place that we both can enjoy together.”
  2. CHOOSE A GOOD TIME TO TALK: This is important as it can greatly affect the mood present and ultimate communication. Whoever initiates a topic of importance should ask his/her partner what might be a good time to talk. If that works, then have the communication at that time. If it does not, suggest another time and see if that might work. Never interrupt the other person when s/he is engrossed in something else. That is rude and will upset the other which will set a negative tone that may be difficult to overcome.
  3. STICK TO ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME: This is especially needed by men. Men tend to zero in on a particular topic and want to work it through. Another topic thrown in tends to be distracting and irritating. Work the one through and then move on to the next one.
  4. AVOID SAYING WHAT YOU DON’T WANT: State positively what you want. Example: “I don’t want to go to dinner with the usual crowd tonight”. Instead say, “I want just you and I to go out tonight. I’ve been missing our alone time.”
  5. AVOID CRITICIZING, JUDGING, AND COERCING: Say, “Let’s leave by seven so we can get there early,” instead of “We have to leave early because you’re never ready on time.”
  6. AVOID BRINGING UP PAST UNPLEASANT HISTORY: It serves no purpose to bring up yesterday’s negative experiences. It just sets off  defensive feelings, and probably unpleasant words.
  1. MAKE STATEMENTS INSTEAD OF QUESTIONS: Example: “Let’s go for a walk after dinner” instead of “Why don’t we ever go anywhere?”

The list of tips for good communication between a committed couple could go on and on. These might get you, Respected Reader, thinking about how you communicate with that special person in your life. Are you pretty good at doing these things? How about your partner? 

Dr. Stathas can be reached at 706-473-1780. Email: jstathas13@gmail.com. Website: drstathas.googlepages.com. Blog: drstathas.com

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