Couples come into my office with the complaints of feeling misunderstood, taken for granted, and unappreciated. Some report feeling isolated or ignored because their partner has shut-down. When you feel that your partner doesn’t understand what you’re saying, many times it’s because you aren’t conveying your message in the language they speak. It can sound to them, like you’re speaking Tagalog when they speak English. When this happens they feel they have no choice other than silence. The result is frustration and hurt feelings – leading to sadness, anxiety, insecurity, resentment, and feeling let down.
As disappointing as this may be, communication difficulties are a part of the human experience. Think of what it must have been like when man learned to form his first sentence. We’ve come a long way yet, it’s obvious we still have ways to go.
According to PsychAlive: Psychology For Everyday Living, “One of the biggest problems in communicating is that most couples have a basic misconception of what the purpose of communication is. Most approach talking with a partner as a debate in which each presents a preconceived version of the reality of what is going on between the two partners.” There’s a reason couples choose to see themselves on opposing sides, and assume rather than s know the facts. The reason is fear.
To master the skill and the art of effective communication requires you to put forth great effort. Honestly scrutinizing your personal deficits and shortcomings includes vulnerability, and that can be frightening. More than words, communication involves your emotions – your physiology – your courage and, your desire to have a fulfilling relationship. You must be willing to be transparent. Even though this may seem like a daunting task, look at the challenge as an opportunity to make personal improvements. This can be a time for growth that not only benefits you – it will also benefit the relationship.
Unless you do what’s necessary to resolve some of your emotional issues, you’ll carry your pain and insecurities into your relationships – overlaying your backstory onto your current reality, driving a perpetual wedge in your relationship.