We all think we communicate well yet, when in a relationship, we inevitably have misunderstandings and fights – some of us on a regular basis.

Want to get better?

Here are some tips.

First, understand what communication really is.

There are four parts:

  1. What you say
  2. What you mean
  3. What she hears
  4. What she makes it mean

You can already see why communicating is so hard, right?

There’s so much room for misunderstanding.

Your objective is to line up what she makes it mean with what you meant.

The way to do that is by checking – “what are you hearing me say?”

Here’s an example.

Me: “I can’t talk right now.  I’m in the middle of something.”

Her: “What’s wrong?”

Me: “Nothing.  I’m just under the gun”

Her: “What did I do?”

Me: “Hold on.  What did you think I said?”

Her: “You don’t want to talk to me”

Me: “No. What I said was I can’t talk right now.  Can I call you later?”

Her: “Okay”

Checking on what she heard is crucial to avoiding miscommunication.

Why?

Because we frequently don’t express ourselves clearly.

AND, others make our words mean something we never intended, for all sorts of reasons.

You have to continually make sure your message is on target.

Next, give good feedback.

Bad feedback is saying you don’t like something she did and explaining why.

It’s based on you alleviating some negative emotion – like anger or frustration.  It almost always leads to a fight.

Good feedback is when you take responsibility and offer a solution.

“I know you were trying to help by making plans directly with my mom but what would work better is if you checked with me first.”

When giving feedback, make sure you’ve cleaned up the emotion and take responsibility for your part.

Next, say you’re sorry.

It’s always a good move and easy to do.

It doesn’t make you weak.

It actually gives you power – the power to change the interaction.

You know what happens when you dig your heels in?

Nothing.

Finally, communicate with confidence.

Be willing to say the wrong thing or to be misunderstood.  That’s really where confidence comes from.

Ask yourself, “Why am I saying this?”

If it’s to alleviate a negative emotion like fear or insecurity, then it’s something you can change by shifting how you’re thinking about it.

Here’s an example.

Me: “Let’s meet at the restaurant” (I’m thinking – “I’m embarrassed by my apartment”)

Her: “Why?  We have time to kill before our reservation.”

Me: “That’s just easier for me.  Okay?!”

In this scenario, all I needed to do was clean up my thinking.  Instead of “I’m embarrassed by my apartment”, I can think “My apartment is temporary and is not who I am”.

Shifting my thinking, will allow me to communicate more confidently and it’s a hell of a lot more productive than the scenario above.

After money and sex, pent up resentment from miscommunication is the biggest reason for break-ups.

Follow these tips and you’ll never have a misunderstanding again.

Leave a Comment

0