Communicating Without Sticking Your Foot In Your Mouth

Relationships are tough. Trying to incorporate another person into an already hectic schedule can be a challenge but very rewarding if successful. But for those who aren’t victorious when it comes to meshing the two lives together it can feel horrible and both people can feel hopeless. Whether it’s a relationship between a boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, or friend and confidant keeping the lines of communication open is so important. If a couple doesn’t know what to say, how to say it, or when to say it things can get heated pretty quick. This article will focus more on communicating through difficult times and hopefully you’ll walk away having a few ideas of how to communicate without sticking your foot in your mouth.

Talking with-Not at-Every conversation requires input from both parties otherwise it’s just pointless. Conflicts will never be resolved without both parties discussing their stand on things. Many couples have a difficult time in this area; my husband will tell you that I occasionally do. Giving the other person the opportunity to express them self is essential when trying to come to a resolution. Talking at the other person isn’t going to foster good communication. It’s important to state your case and allow the other person to do the same. Talking at the person doesn’t solve anything and will leave the other party feeling like they’re not valued and even as if they’re 5 years old.

Wait your turn-just listen-When it comes to married couples they don’t always have a lot of time to have a meaningful conversation. That proves to be truer with those that have young children. So any amount of time that they have together is highly important. The opportunity to have an uninterrupted conversation may be rare so when it does present itself it’s important to wait your turn and just listen. Being a woman I can humbly admit that men don’t always get a word in edge wise. Sometimes as our spouse is talking we are already thinking of a “come back”. This proves to be destructive because without listening and waiting your turn, the problem and situation will escalate. With the escalation you never really hear what your spouse is saying. They could be making a good point or even trying to come to a resolve by apologizing. But without giving them the opportunity to just talk without interrupting them we never really know what they’re talking about. If you wait your turn and just listen this will be more beneficial than talking over the other person.

If you don’t have anything nice to say-As a child I’m sure we’ve all heard our mothers tell us that if we don’t have anything nice to say we shouldn’t say anything at all. That phrase is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when talking with your spouse. Name calling, put downs, belittling, screaming, threatening, and cursing at your spouse will never accomplish anything. All that it will do is add more fuel to the fire and make the situation worse than it was originally. Words can hurt and lashing out at your mate because you’re angry won’t add anything positive. They’ll walk away hurt, wounded, and if done long enough they can become bitter.

You’re not a mind reader-Women are masters when it comes to this one. We always think that we know what our spouse is thinking. But in reality what they have on their mind is probably no where close to what we think they do. Assuming that your spouse is thinking something; doesn’t mean that you’re right. Because we are all different, we all think differently. That goes for both sexes, so jumping to conclusions won’t solve anything.

Ask questions-Something I had to learn was to ask my husband questions when he would talk to me. I didn’t always understand where he was coming from and I usually misinterpreted what he was trying to say. Asking or repeating back what you think your spouse said is more logical than not.

Loosing gracefully-Sometimes an argument can never be resolved which isn’t always a good thing. But that’s just life and the world we live in. So there are times when it’s better to just take the high road, be the better person, and loose the argument. Now I don’t mean be a doormat, I just mean knowing when to kiss and make up. Yelling and screaming or snipping at each other with your words won’t make a difference if the other person is at the point where they’re at a loss for words or when they’ve decided that nothing can be resolved. Loosing gracefully just means agreeing to disagree. This isn’t always easy but sometimes it’s the only way to get past the problem.

Forgive and move forward-Assuming that a problem has been worked through it’s important to kiss and make up, and forgive and forget. I know the forgetting part is easier said than done but forgiving should always be priority number one. Holding onto unforgiveness will only turn into bitterness and it will never allow you to move forward. Settling things once and for all paves the way for better days to come. Life’s too short to hold a grudge.

I’m not a relationship therapist and I don’t claim to be an expert in communication. But I have had to learn through trial and error while communicating with my husband. It’s not always easy to pick up a “12 steps to a better marriage” book, but any amount of advice, if it’s positive can make a lasting impression on any couple. We all need good communication skills when it comes to our spouses and we should never stop seeking ways to make our relationships better.