Communication don'ts for Relationships
Effective communication is critical to a healthy relationship. Avoid these communication Don'ts and you may avoid your next argument.
- Don't read between the lines
Don't over-think or over analyse what he or she said. You are using your own life experiences to make conclusions about what the other person meant. If you think there was more to it, ask - but don't come to your own conclusions and then hold the other person accountable for them.
- Don't beat a dead horse
If your partner did something years ago that upset you, don't keep bringing it up. If you feel your are due an apology, ask for one, and get over it. Don't use it as ammunition in every argument.
- Don't make absolute statements
Saying things like "Always" and "Never" are for the sake of argument. If you are upset about something, be specific.
- Don't start with an accusation
This one usually sounds like "YOU NEVER do the dishes", or "YOU are ALWAYS late!" This is a double whammy of an accusation and an exaggerated absolute. This statement is usually the first of an argument.
- Don't have a one-sided conversation
If you are doing all the talking, (or yelling), stop. Ask your partner to share his or her feelings.
- Don't apologize for feelings
Apologize for what you did that upset someone, not for how they feel about it. Apologizing for someone's feelings is like apologizing on their behalf. You have a right to your feelings and so does your partner, even if you don't agree on it.
- Don't assume
Assumptions about feelings, intentions, and responsibilities are to blame for many arguments. It is always better to talk to someone about what they are thinking rather than taking a guess at it.
There will be disagreements and misunderstandings. Talking through them without escalating to argument can ensure both of you have a chance to share your feelings and have your feelings heard.