Do you say what you mean?
Do you listen or are you thinking about what you are going to say next?
Are you afraid to speak your truth?
Have you listened to most people communicate? Their communication may sound a bit cryptic. They may think they are expressing their needs, but is their message clear?
If we go deeper into our needs, we will notice that our surface level communication does not address our real concerns or needs. Let’s look at an example of what I am talking about.
You and your partner have planned an evening out to go to dinner and you both just got home from work. You say to your partner, “Are you going to take a shower?” He says yes, and off he goes into the bathroom. You are feeling a bit anxious because when you don’t eat on a regular schedule, your blood levels drop a bit and you start to feel sick. Do you think your partner knows how you feel? No, he thinks you just wanted to know if he was taking a shower. A better way to communicate your needs would have sounded more like this. “I was wondering how long it is going to take you to get ready because I may need to eat a small snack before we go, so that I don’t get a blood sugar crash and feel crummy. I’m really looking forward to our evening together and it would disappoint me to feel bad.”
Pretty obvious which one communicates your needs better, right? We do this all the time. Our partners and the people in our lives cannot read our minds and understand what our concerns and needs are unless we tell them. Unless we are aware of what our main concerns are with ourself, we won’t be able to convey them to anyone else.
The key to helping your partner understand you is:
- Pause before you speak.
- Think about what your needs are.
- Think about what the clearest way to express them would be.
- Communicate them clearly.
Most arguments start because of a lack of clarity in communication. My clients will often complain that their partner says, “I’m not a mind reader.” So, help your partner understand you and show up for you by communicating clearly.