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Talk, It does a Relationship Good!

Talking, though commonly utilized on a daily basis is often misunderstood, misused and underused, especially in matters of the heart. This may come as a surprise to you, if you are not aware of all the stereotypes you associate to talking. Have you denied talking about your feelings because you may say too much, too little or not sound smart enough? Do you ignore, avoid, and deliberately misunderstand to avoid conversations with your partner? Yes, we jump through hoops to prevent talking because we feel it can go wrong really quickly. How many times have you started talking to someone, maybe your partner, only to say to him, her or yourself, I should have stayed silent?

It’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortable around those who talk too much or too freely. We’ve all heard one or another of the following: “Loose lips sink ships,” “listen more than you speak,” if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” Yes, all of the above may be applicable at appropriate times, but opting for silence in your relationship is an overused option for too many couples. Today’s research suggests talk - having conversations - is so much more than sharing information, expressing ourselves or giving directions. The benefits of talking are much more profound. Conversation bridges gaps, influence others and create connections, connections help us understand the innermost thoughts of those we love. Understanding fosters respect; the connection is the foundation for intimacy on which a healthy relationship thrives.

I often see couples at odds with each other because of a lack of or poor communication. One member of the couple feels misunderstood and ignored, and the other feel shut out and isolated. Either way, couples that don’t set aside time to talk, soon find feelings are left unaddressed, misunderstandings find fertile grounds to flourish, and disharmony matures into discontent and resentment. As someone who is partial to talk, because I have seen talk cure years and even decades of hurt and prevented a lifetime of misunderstandings, I urge you to please talk to each other…or to me!

Thirteen Tips for Talking

  1. Accept that you are NOT psychic, and if you are, your partner is not.

  2. Remember “I” statements.

  3. Remove all distractions, unfinished thoughts from work, electronics, etc., during your talks.

  4. Identify a safe, private space, free of distractions to talk.

  5. Set aside regular times to talk about the goings-on in your relationship.

  6. Respect conversations by being available to speak and listen.

  7. Words have power and meaning, be thoughtful in your words.

  8. Yes, an apology is also talking.

  9. Perfect the art of speaking when you identify an issue but not as retaliation.

  10. Whenever possible, try your best not to speak out of a momentary flash of anger.

  11. Talk as an act of giving: Talk to your partner as a selfless act of giving without expecting anything but acknowledgment and respect for what you say.

  12. Talk is about communicating verbally, not in passive-aggressive ways. Passive Aggressive behaviors will NEVER serve in your best interest!

  13. Whenever you have truth, it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected. Mahatma Gandhi

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