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The Importance of Developing Good Communication Skills

Apr 17, 2008
They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus and sometimes it really does feel like we're speaking two different languages! All couples will run into a communication problem or two, whether it's nagging or the constant "he said, she said" that can plague a relationship. But can men and women really communicate effectively with each other? Or are they too different to ever see eye to eye? Good communication is possible, but it takes effort. Read on for more tips on handling your communication crises:

First, good communication most often arises from two parties that are actively seeking a mutually beneficial solution in an emotion-free environment. Do you see the problem here? The times when we need good communication the most are when we're in heated arguments, battling over who's right and who's wrong!

When an argument gets heated, it's easy to say things we don't really mean in an effort to prove our points. In fact, did you know that in these situations, your IQ can drop by as much as 20 points? Your brain shifts from using its logical reasoning to a type of fight or flight response designed to deal with this type of stress. You may notice physiological symptoms like sweating, flushed cheeks and rapid heartbeat that indicate you've passed from a logical frame of mind into an emotional, reactive mindset.

Recognizing these symptoms is a key step in regaining control of the communication process. If you notice yourself becoming more and more emotional, you might want to ask your partner for a brief time-out so that you don't say or do something you don't mean and will later regret. Restart the conversation only when you feel you've calmed down enough to speak rationally.

Or, if you're able to, use these physiological effects as a cue to get back on track. Try to figure out what's really bothering you and express that clearly to your partner. Remember to avoid blame statements in your conversations. Statements like "You never want to spend time with me" or "You don't help out enough around the house" are loaded with blame and will only send the conversation back to the emotionally-charged realm.

Finally, remember that it's hard to have an earnest, rational conversation when you're bombarded by external distractions. Don't try to have an important conversation in a busy public place or in front of the television at night. Give your partner your full attention during the discussion out of respect for his or her feelings. You'll also be better able to pick up on little cues like posture and intonation that demonstrate how your partner is really feeling.

Men and women may never see eye to eye when it comes to communication. After all, we have some pretty distinct differences that often get in the way of being open and honest with one another. However, developing good communication skills is an essential part of building solid relationships and it can be done. So pick up that guide to Martian or that Venusian dictionary, dive in and get ready to reap the rewards of good communication.
About the Author
SurvivingInfidelity911.com is a website dedicated to Infidelity Help for struggling couples.
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