It is both a common knowledge and a scientifically proven fact that poor communication could be the leading cause of couples ending their romantic relationships. And healthy communication style might still be the most difficult skill to conquer!
Being assertive with your loved ones
It may be strange, but being assertive is hardest when communicating with your loved ones. It is much easier to assertively ask a person not to cut the line, than to remain assertive when talking to your partner about the simplest things (which channel to watch) and the hard ones (feeling that your relationship needs to move forward, or you might be fed up with it). The reason for this is in the very core of every healthy relationship – closeness.
It is a bit contradictory, but being that intimate and emotionally invested in one another, actually causes you to be more susceptible to all sorts of fears and insecurities, such as fear of rejection, of being abandoned, not being accepted the way you are, or fear of loneliness. Because of this, you may find yourself acting in the way you wouldn’t ever act with an unknown person, with a coworker, or anyone else for that matter.
Connected to this is the fact all relationships develop a unique pattern of communication and emotional exchange. And unfortunately, in many relationships, these patterns are filled with emotional blackmail and psychological games. In our defense, these are unconscious most of the time.
Becoming aware of this is the first step towards a healthy relationship. But it is not nearly enough. Nurturing your relationship may mean you will have to adopt certain new ways of expressing your desires, your wants and thoughts. Here are some advices on how to employ assertive communication into your love life:
- Try avoiding remarks about your partner’s personality when you are hurt or angry, talk about their acts as an alternative (instead of saying: “You are so inconsiderate!”, try “Your behavior makes me feel like you don’t care about my feelings.”)
- Evade so-called “You-sentences” and switch them for “I-sentences” (instead of screaming: “You make me so angry!” try “I feel so angry when you look at other girls”)
- You should give up trying to prove you are right – your relationship should not be a place for demonstrating your demagogy skills. It is a place of love and acceptance of one another
- Don’t pedagogize when you talk to your partner. This means treating your significant other as equal, not as a child that needs some lecture on how not to be late for a meeting. Don’t patronize him or her, and give them respect they deserve.
- Learn how to speak your mind, and how to do it openly and confidently. Your partner isn’t obliged to read your mind (although all of us do expect that, in all honesty).
Embracing these changes in the way we talk to our other half may lead us to improving our own self-esteem, as well as being more respectful to our partner. And don’t forget – becoming assertive takes time and practice, but it is an essential skill in both life and love!