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What is good communication?

Couples often cite communication problems as the main reason for
troubles in their relationships. Either the couple doesn't
communicate, they communicate past each other, or they argue but
get nowhere.

So what is good communication in a relationship. How will it
make a difference in yours? In essence, good communication is
where the speaker can say what he or she thinks needs to be said.
And the listener can listen and hear what is being said. Then
the roles get reversed and the speaker becomes the listener and
the listener the speaker. Good communication means there are no
interruptions when the speaker is speaking and that the listener
listens attentively regardless of what's being said. But I am
sure you know this.

Often the problem with couples' communication is not that people
don't know the rules of good communication. But that emotions get
in the way.

Sometimes it's nearly impossible for one member of the couple to
listen to the other without interrupting. Because what is being
said generates an emotional response and the person cannot
contain themselves.

Sometimes the speaker cannot get through what he or she is
trying to say because the listener assumes he or she already
knows what the speaker wants to say, completing the thought
incorrectly. On top of that, the listener may have an emotional
reaction to what the listener assumed was going to be said.

Sometimes the speaker speaks in veiled messages or sends out
emotional barbs. The messages and barbs may hit their mark and
"get" the listener, arousing emotions and reactions, yet the
speaker may not realize that he or she is causing part of the
communications problem.

So, what do you do if you want to either fix how the
communication in your relationship? How do you set it up to
work well from the start? Go back to the basics - take turns
communicating, listen to each other. Keep your emotions in
check, and speak up when you were "gotten".

Let your partner say what he or she needs to say. Genuinely
listen. Hold your emotions in check, regardless of how they may
be aroused, even if a hidden message or a verbal barb "got" you.
Wait your turn. Then speak your truth, emotions, reactions,
thoughts, etc. But speak in such a way that allows your partner
to hear instead of reacting. Make sure your feel heard, then
switch again, until both of you are done.

The key is keeping your emotions in check. The way you do this
is by assuming from the get-go that your emotions may very well
be aroused in any and all conversations with your partner.
Sometimes the emotions will be "good": love, happiness, and
closeness. Sometimes they will be "bad": sadness, anger, grief,
and alienation.

Your job is to feel the emotions but to keep their expression
in check. You can speak about them when it's your turn to speak.
Even act them out a bit-raise your voice a bit, pace the floor,
clench your fists-but you will not let them burst out.

This will take a lot of practice, but if you can learn how to
do this, the communication in your relationship will flow much
smoother as a result.

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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