8 Healthy Communication Tips

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Do you feel like you tend to talk in circles with your significant other? Until you implement effective communication techniques you may never fully dialogue about the issue at hand. Dr. John Gottman has stated that 69% of marital/couples issues are perpetual problems that are deemed “unsolvable”. What does that mean exactly? Instead of trying to figure out solutions start a dialogue about the problem in a healthier way. When we speak with our significant other we want to feel heard, respected, validated, and understood. However, it can be hard to reach that conclusion because men and women tend to “speak different languages”. Biologically men and women are wired differently and that can create issues in relating. Generally speaking, men tend to speak and like to be spoken to in a concise and bullet-pointed fashion. On the other hand, women veer towards being more detail oriented. Also, typically speaking men tend to be “fixer’s” and want to solve the problem. Unfortunately, moving directly into problem-solving can end up leaving the spouse feeling as if she is a problem to be fixed instead of a person to be heard. Women tend to want a “listening ear” and may be more of an external processor rather than internal. Men may tend to keep things to themselves in order to eliminate the stress on their spouse, or they may feel like they should be able to handle it themselves. Seeing that men and women biologically tend to speak to each other in different ways we each person can end up feeling invalidated. Invalidation is one of the key factors that lead clients to my office. Invalidation is the act of not taking into account the others emotional experience. That leads to shutting off emotions, not sharing and internalizing feelings of shame. The relationship becomes an unsafe place to share. Men connect physically women connect emotionally. Using the 8 communication tips below will help you validate each other’s experience and enhance healthier communication skills.
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