Five Types Of Communication For Your Relationship
Communication is the most crucial skill for a couple to develop. It is the most critical thing a couple can do together because it supersedes everything. No other issue can be addressed healthily without good communication skills. Every stressor in a relationship can be addressed with honest, open communication – parenting, finances, sex, etc. Conflicts in all these areas can be overcome if you talk through them.
More and better communication is what is needed in most relationships. Bonnie McFarlane, a comedian, and author, writes that once when her husband made her very angry, she stopped talking to him for the rest of the week. At last, on the seventh day, her husband turned to her and said, “Hey, we’re getting along great lately!” That was not the response she sought, and it certainly didn’t help resolve anything. Not talking is not the answer.
Communication can be difficult to master or even to define. However, below are five different types of interactions that couples in highly functional and mutually satisfying relationships do well.
BASIC, INFORMAL CONVERSATIONS
These conversations are sometimes considered “small talk.” They are, however, necessary to stay in touch with our partner’s world. Sharing the high and low points of the day, recounting experiences, and sharing information like, “The neighbors have lost their dog, so be watching out for him,” or “We’ve been invited to our nephew’s wedding. Do you know anything about his fiancé?” This type of conversation develops a simple connection between you and doesn’t require much emotional energy or investment.
These are like management or administrative meetings. In these conversations, duties and responsibilities are assigned. Who will take Paul to soccer practice? Who will call the plumber and meet her at the house? These types of conversations are essential, and it is necessary that the couple listens to each other and repeats back what has been said, and, if needed, asks for clarification. Assumptions are dangerous in this type of communication, or any communication for that matter!
CHALLENGES AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Every relationship faces challenges. Sometimes the challenges are more manageable, like, “The air conditioner has stopped. Who do we call? Can we get some box fans to help circulate the air?”
Other conversations can be more serious, especially if our partner has hurt or disappointed us. Having differing views on important topics related to our relationship can also be challenging to navigate. During these types of conversations, we must utilize our best listening skills, including mirroring what we have heard and validating our partner, even if we disagree with them. It is essential to extend grace and never attack the other person. Attack the problem or the challenge!
This type of conversation is about connecting on a feelings level. You open up and talk about what matters to you and why. If you have negative feelings, you can help each other process them so that you don’t let them fester. You talk about hopes, dreams, fears, and needs.
Intimate conversation is just what it sounds like. It is words and expressions of affection and love. You only say these words to each other – words that bind your hearts together and build closeness and an intimate connection.
Meaningful conversations make a relationship…meaningful! From the basic, informal conversations to the deep and intimate ones, each plays a vital role in your connection with your partner. Dr. Terri Orbuch studied nearly 400 couples over 30 years. She found that the happy ones tended to spend 10 minutes talking about meaningful things each day. Just 10 minutes! You are worth it. Your relationship is worth it.
If you want to work on your communication skills as a couple, please contact me at Cliff@LoveRecon.org or call 866-218-1716. You may also visit our website, www.LoveRecon.org, for testimonials and information.