I can’t count how many times in a conversation with my significant other that I have said, “I just feel like you don’t understand.” That phrase is soooo important to look at when we talk about creating healthy relationships. Whether it’s romantic, family, friends or the like, so many of us just have a need to feel like there is another person who understands where we are coming from.
The biggest challenge to overcome in many romantic relationships is the fact that for the most part men and women think really differently. This genetic disposition to view things from very different perspectives showcases just how important effective communication is. And I don’t know about you, but I still struggle in this area.
I tend to think that things should be evident or that I don’t have to say what’s wrong, he should know. Well very quickly I learned that’s stupid. Ha! Sorry to be so harsh but it really is. No one on this planet is a mind reader – I mean unless you believe Professor X is real, but for the most part – the only way the rest of us are going to understand another person’s feelings is if we are told in a way that we can digest.
Communicating effectively will incorporate a few things. First, taking the emotion out of it. If you are extremely angry, sad, depressed, whatever it is, most often it’s best to feel those emotions first and then try to express it to your partner. Speaking in anger is one of the quickest ways to say things that you will definitely regret and that can cause permanent damage in your relationship. Honestly sometimes walking away and collecting yourself is the smartest thing you can do to actually get your point across. When people are yelling and screaming at each other, I guarantee no one is actually listening.
Another thing about communicating effectively is really taking the time to analyze what you feel and what you want the outcome to be. Have you ever found yourself, trying to tell your partner something and they’re just like “Okay what do you want me to do to fix it?” and a subsequent “uhhhh” follows? Is this really something important you need to bring up to your partner or are you just complaining for the sake of it? Have a goal and a resolution in mind.
Lastly, something that I am terrible with is timing! Sometimes I feel things and cannot even act remotely normal until I get it off my chest, no matter the timing. But if another person has a lot going on, had a bad day at work, etc., it just may not be the right time to tell them that they forgot to take out the trash and that makes you feel like they don’t care. Timing is so important and I would honestly save myself a lot of trouble if I got better with it. And when you do find the right time, it doesn’t have to be a big “We have to talk” moment. It can just be, “Hey, I was thinking the other day …” and on with it from there.
We all want to be understood. But learning to communicate is imperative to that process. And the kicker is sometimes we have to even learn to be comfortable with the fact that others still may not understand after we go through all those motions. But if they are a good partner, a good friend, a good family member, they will try their best to make you comfortable even if they don’t understand it. This has been a big growing pain for me. But I know it’s essential to making my relationships what I need them to be.
Am I the only one? Have you ever just felt like no one understands? What are other ways you find to help get your point across? Tell me about it in the comments!