Relationship Advice - The Rules for Great Communication | Dr. Kathy

Communication is hard... honestly!

So many of us struggle with this issue in our relationships and effective communication is a real challenge.

But don't worry... I will help you figure out exactly what you need to do to improve the communication in your relationship. And it's so important that you do this because good communication is at the heart of a good relationship.

If you can't communicate, you stop talking and sharing important details about your day and your life. Then you start feeling more disconnected and lonely. And pretty soon, you're angry all the time and wondering what you're doing in this relationship!

So let's change course right now... let me give you "the rules" for great communication that I've developed over the last 20 years of caring for couples....

 

THE DO LIST

These are the things we want to do MORE of to communicate better:

 

SOFTEN UP

Talk to your spouse the way you'd talk to a friend. Pay attention to your body language, don't cross your arms or roll your eyes.

 

BE GENTLE AND KIND

Speak softly, be kind, use friendly words. Imagine your spouse as a hurt child, talk them in the same warm and reassuring way you would with a child.

 

BE HOPEFUL AND POSITIVE

Throughout your discussion with your spouse, say things like, "It will be ok," and "We'll work through this," or "We're on the same side, let's work together."

 

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PART

Try to see your spouse's point and own up to what you did wrong.

 

ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL BETTER

If you're in the middle of a heated discussion,  ask for what you need to feel better and be specific. Need a hug? Ask for one. Need to hear that your point makes sense? Ask for that.

 

COMPLAIN WITHOUT BLAMING THE OTHER PERSON

Talk about how you feel while being careful NOT to blame your spouse or make fun of them, or degrade them. People who are hurt and insulted rarely want to listen and make things better.

 

TRY TO SEE THE OTHER PERSON'S PERSPECTIVE

As you're listening to your spouse, frequently mention what you hear from them that makes sense to you and how you understand what they're saying.

 

 ... plus 5 more!

 

Get your FREE copy of the complete Do's & Don'ts for Fabulous Communication here.

 

 

THE DON'T LIST

These are the things we want to DO LESS of for great communication:

 

 

ATTACK

Don't use harsh, critical language designed to demean your spouse. If you wouldn't say what you're about to say to your boss, best friend, or child, don't say it to your partner or spouse.

 

INSULT

Don't start hitting below the bet or throwing insults. This shuts down communication and gets you bad results.

 

BLAME

Don't assume that your spouse is evil and meant to hurt you. Assume they had good intentions, give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume they didn't mean to hurt you.

 

JUDGE

None of us is perfect, really. Not you, not me, not your spouse. So please don't start evaluating and judging your spouse, it never goes well.

 

CRITICIZE

Don't nit-pick, point out flaws and failings. A heated discussion is not the time to criticize and doing so will sink the conversation fast!

 

NAME-CALL

Calling someone a name alienates them and makes them less likely to work with you. This is the opposite of what we want!

 

USE PROFANITY

Try to keep this to a minimum. Profanity is emotionally charged language that can put the other person off. Even though we tend to be pretty lax about profanity these days, I find that most people take profanity more personally during an argument, so less is more here.

 

CALL THE OTHER "CRAZY"

Want to see your spouse go from angry to irate in 5 seconds flat? Tell them their ideas or feelings are crazy. Nothing escalates a fight faster that telling someone they're nuts or ridiculous or crazy.

 

...Plus 6 more!

 

Get your FREE copy of the complete Do's & Don'ts for Fabulous Communication here.

 

 

Recommendations:

1. Get your FREE copy of this Do & Don't list here. It's the perfect thing to put on your fridge or maybe tattoo on your arm? 

2. Review both lists completely. As you are reading through, circle one thing from the “do” list and one thing from the “don’t” list that you can focus on for the next week.

Please don’t try to do everything the whole list at once, it’s a big list and trying to do it all can be overwhelming.

I’d much rather you pick one thing from each list and focus entirely on doing those 2 things this week.

3. Once you’ve mastered those changes, add 2 more. Keep doing so, one week at a time, and make note of the changes.

4. If you'd like to hear me talk about this in depth and give examples, click here for a free sample of my Amazing Communication Audio Lesson. (I bet I'll make you laugh at least once!)

 

Remember....

None of us is perfect, so you don't have to be either, but do your best to eliminate the Don'ts and increase the Do's.

Doing so will help you have amazing communication with your partner (and pretty much everyone else in your life!).

 

More Free Resources For You

The Do's & Don'ts For Absolutely Fabulous Communication - PDF

 

Dr. K's Blog

See All Our Relationship Help Articles

 

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