6 Sabotaging Communication Habits To Ditch Before Starting a Difficult Conversation.
“You” vs. “I ” Statements
Communication of a thought starting with “you” is more likely to be experienced as an attack by your spouse and may immediately put them on the defensive.
It is much more effective to use statements that begin with “I” to express your feelings.
“I feel ignored when it comes to decisions about the kids/finances,”
“You never listen to me.”
The Blame Game
Complaints voiced alone without possible solutions give the listener an image of the speaker as a victim or as having a victim mentality. By brainstorming solutions before voicing a complaint, and sharing them with the complaint, you will be more likely to move the discussion forward and away from blame
It is a common strategy to try to trick the other party into admitting something one is worried about being true. However, this may deflect from a serious look into what is really taking place. If you do not know the details of a situation, starting the conversation with assumptions and anger will not be likely to bring you clarity or to a place of inner strength. Begin a conversation about a topic where you do not have all of the facts by asking questions to learn the facts and gain clarity
Avoid terms like “always” “never” “should.” These words will put your spouse in defensive mode and escalate a conflict as well as detract from the truth regarding occurances.
Sometimes we raise our voices or express our emotions in a more extreme way to show that something is very important to us, to stress the seriousness of a subject, or to grab the other person’s attention. The opposite tends to occur as reactivity leads to the subject matter being avoided and the focus becomes the communication itself. However, when we remain calm, rather than reactive, we show that our concerns come from a place of inner strength rather than weakness.
Similarly, if we can be mindful enough to refrain from interrupting or needing to have the last word we communicate, non verbally, that our concerns have validity and come from a place of strength. Also, refrain from being drawn into the other person’s drama; that is the easiest way to get off track in the discussions
Communication habits are difficult to break, particularly during emotional periods. It can help to remind one’s self, before beginning a conversation with the potential for conflict, that
“Resolution is not about who is right or who gets what – it’s about moving forward and getting closure.”
Trust the positive power of your thinking.