The Importance of Effective Communication and Relationship Development

Fortunately, it is still common for couples to go to therapy, and it is striking that each time they are couples with a wider age range, since this means that therapy is normalizing, even in older couples.

Within the situations that are worked in consultation, the variety is great, although there is a common element that is observed behind many conflicts and disagreements: communication.

The importance of effective communication in a relationship

It is almost a cliché to say that lack of communication is behind coexistence and relationship conflicts in couples, families, or teams, but it is still something very real. To specify and illustrate what I am presenting here, I would like to focus on a topic that seems very clear but is not so obvious: the understanding of the other and their points of view.

Communication often stagnates because we want the other person to understand what we want to explain, to be able to put ourselves in our shoes and see what we see. We forget that the claim of the other person, is exactly the same and that can block communication actions.

The first key thing is to understand the other person, before pretending to be understood. That would be a good initiation; it is important to take the first step in the intention to understand. Mutual understanding would be guaranteed if we did so since we would come together in the will to listen.

When we do it the other way around, what usually happens is that we attribute a negative intention to the other party. We prejudge and provoke defensive attitudes that open the door to feelings of attack, blocking communication and activating resentment, misunderstanding, helplessness, and a great chain of negative emotions that will lead to a possible conflict of more or less great dimensions.

The Importance of Effective Communication
Importance of Effective Communication in relationship Image from Unsplash

It would be convenient that, in an act of communication, we were able to detect who is the person who presents a greater level of anxiety or urgency in exposing their ideas and expressing their state and that we give them the first place to start the sequence of understanding; When that happens, once the person feels understood, it may be easier to pretend the other person’s turn and listen to those ideas.

It is essential to remember that, in these communicative acts, it is not necessary to pretend to find the truth or who is right, since both parties have their truth and their reason. In communication, one should not fall into this trap, since it leads to a dead-end that increases tension, conflict and distance between the people who intend to communicate.

In addition, wanting to “be right” reduces communication to an excessively simplified situation, in a kind of battle that would leave one party victorious and another defeated, when the important thing is that both parties understand each other and reach a solution or common consensus. What is the same, in the case that someone wins and someone loses, ideas and capacities are subtracted, the case that we propose, expands the possibilities and seeks to share the well-being generated by consensus and mutual understanding.

Therefore, it is also a matter of emotional profitability, of feeling that there is a common interest for the people who are in that dialogue to reach a point of shared and joint well-being. I want you to feel good and you are looking for the same, which will satisfy both people and will leave them feeling that we take care of each other, instead of seeking to be above (which implies that there is someone below).

What to do?

To achieve this idea you have to take great care of the words that are used; and the forms. There are many assertive taglines that help in choosing those conciliatory and non-aggressive words: “In my opinion …”, “as I see it …”, “from my point of view …”, ” I think … “,” I understand what you are saying. And also … “,” I would like you to also take into account …”

One of the things that these taglines have in common is that they do not nullify the other person’s part, they do not destroy and they do not disparage different ideas or points of view that do not coincide.

It may seem very simple to remember how important it is to avoid the use of the expression “but” just before presenting an idea of your own, since that conjunction eliminates the value of the phrase that has been pronounced just before. For example: “I think it’s fine your opinion, but … “(it is equivalent to saying that it does not seem right to me). It may seem somewhat forced within the close, spontaneous and trusting relationship of the couple relationship, but it is important that correct words are maintained and that they do not question the mutual respect essential in effective and respectful communication.

In short, it is not enough to say “if you already know how I am”, it is not enough to refer to what has always happened in the field of communication, you have to take care of what you want to express and the way do it.

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