Communication you say? But I talk to my partner ALL the time! Well guess what, talking to your partner does not automatically mean you are communicating!
Lets think of the word ‘communication’ itself for a second. The definition of which is, “exchange of information or news”. Now allow yourself to reflect for a few seconds, when was the last time you actually exchanged information with your partner?
Take last night for an instance, when you came home from work and talked to your partner about your day. How well do you think you were able to communicate your stress related to work, excitement with getting a new project completed, or the longing you felt as you wished for the day to be over?
Chances are, you did a good job of talking about your day without even communicating! Don't sweat it. Couples make mistakes communicating all the time, and the good news is that communication is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. Here are 5 common communication mistakes that I observed couples make:
1. Expecting Your Partner To Read Your Mind
This mistake is so incredibly common among couples that most of us are even unaware of doing it! This is partially because we fall into fallacy that our partners are our soul mates and as such they should be able to decipher what we think and feel all the time.
Remember that time your partner was supposed to do something you wanted but later you found out that they had no clue? That's because humans are incapable of mind reading and that goes for your partner as well. If you haven’t communicated to your partner what your wants are, don't expect them to magically know!
2. Don’t Assume
Ever heard of ‘assume’ standing for “don't make an ass out of you and me?” That’s about sums it up, a common mistake couples make when they non-verbally communicate.
A one time favorite breakfast suddenly becomes an all timer just because your partner assumed that you love pouched eggs so much that you are willing to have it for the rest of your life! Or that one time your partner was able to bring you to an orgasm by whispering in your ear now suddenly becomes the only sensual method he employs, and proudly so! I
f you assume, you make a mistake of closing a window of opportunity of exploring and learning more about your partner and yourself! It is a two-way highway, if your partner makes mistake of assuming, let them know that there are other ways they can please you besides those constant whispers!
3. Bringing Up The Defense Wall
Ever noticed how your partner becomes defensive when you bring up concerns? That’s because you make YOUR concern his/her fault by stating it with “you” statements such as, “You always…” or “You never…”
As a result, your partner’s guard goes up and they are less likely to listen to your perspective. It takes time and practice to shift to “I” statements such as, “I’ve noticed that…” or “Lately, I’ve been feeling like…” Making the discussion centered on your feelings will make your partner feel less criticized and more like he/she are a part of a productive discussion.
4. Not Considering Your Partner’s Perspective
Believe it or not but most people these days do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply! This leads people to not feel heard in their daily lives and especially with their partners.
Think about all the times you came to your partner to share your feelings and instead of being heard you got a list of potential solutions that you never asked for. So go ahead, clean that wax out of your ears and try to listen to what your partner experience is like.
5. Forgetting Our Curiosity
Trust me, if you knew your partner a 100% you would be so incredibly bored! Imagine your relationship like a game of chess and your partner as your opponent. Now would you enjoy playing a game of chess with someone whose every move you could predict beforehand? How unexciting would that be?
Remember, your partner is a mystery for a reason, and so are you! Be curious and inquisitive about one another so that you can understand your partner more, and yourself in a relationship to them.