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Communication Breakdown

Communication breakdown! Has communication become almost impossible and you and your sweetheart fighting, fighting, fighting? That’s something that happens to most of us, and it’s not easy. In fact, it can be very scary, and upsetting. I’m going to offer some general tips that will most likely help.

First of all, when things get upsetting and your anger goes from zero to sixty in half a second, you need to calm down.
If you keep trying to communicate in that state, it’s just going to turn into a brawl. When you’re that upset, communication is not going to happen. So, breathe. Calm down. Count to ten. Do what you have to do to manage your emotions. If it’s really bad, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. Step away from the situation and calm down.

Secondly, learn how to ask for what you want politely.
Yes, I know you’re married, but you still have to be civil to each other. Yes, I know you’re upset, but yelling and calling someone names is not going to work to your advantage. It’s not easy to ask for something politely if you are asking for something really important to you because when you ask you acknowledge that the other person can say no. It’s a vulnerable position to be in. True communication demands vulnerability. Otherwise, you are just issuing commands and acting like a frustrated child. Stop it. You are a grown up and you can learn to do this! I know it’s not easy when you are upset, but ask yourself this question: If you were in front of a judge and jury, could you behave yourself? Of course you could! That shows you that you have control over your behavior, even when you are very upset.

This is easier said than done, but an important point nonetheless. Try not to take everything personally. This is difficult to do when you are dealing with sensitive subjects and you feel unloved and unheard. Sometimes our emotions are not good indicators of what is really going on. The person you are trying to communicate or negotiate with may not be trying to hurt you at all. (S)he is just a very different person. And (s)he is allowed to be different.  Be kind to yourself and don’t take it personally. Also, allow yourself to have all the time you need to work on communication. It doesn’t all have to get settled in one conversation.

There really are skills involved in learning to communicate effectively.  You can learn to do this, and you can learn to do it well. Be patient with yourself and others, and remember that enlisting the help of a competent counselor is a good option.