How to talk out relationship problems

The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems -- And How To Fix Them - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

how to talk out relationship problems

Criticism is staging the problem in a relationship as a character flaw in a partner They said, “Talk to me, I want to hear how you feel about this. My thoughts about "what not to say" apply to both men and women, but "hit job" on men and blaming men for every problem in a relationship. Make sure you're in a relationship where you can talk about your problems with someone who cares enough to listen, empathize and change.

We were lying in bed one night and the topic of concern came up. My heart leaped into my throat and I felt like I just had to say something. I decided to open the can of worms right then and there. He did not like that. He had no idea what was coming! So, even though I let myself get upset and hurt about it, it was my responsibility to broach the conversation from a different angle.

I had to let go of my hurt feelings and honestly examine where I dropped the ball. If I had scheduled a time to talk, then he would have been more willing to communicate with me. Honoring other people and their feelings allows both parties to fully show up, be heard, and hash things out collaboratively. Know your desires and intentions. Returning to the same scenario as above: I eventually decided to ask him for an appropriate time to talk. We agreed on dinnertime the next night. As we sat down and the conversation opened up, I decided to share with him my intention and desire for the conversation, beyond the topic for discussion.

I used the analogy that if either of us were unhappy about something and the other person or both of us were unwilling to communicate about it, then that would be like sticking a thorn in our relationship and choosing to allow it to deteriorate. By sharing this, he immediately opened up because he knew where I was coming from and that my intention was positive and for the good of our relationship.

He could relate to that because he desires and intends the same thing. Be prepared to lead the conversation. The guidelines for being a good listener are not just for men. Good communication and good listening are also part of negotiating in business, as well.

how to talk out relationship problems

And, of course, rationality and problem-solving are also important. It's ironic that some people might think that I don't care about rationality and problem-solving.

After all, I am a "cognitive therapist"! If you want to get a sense of the irrational way that we can think about our relationships, check out my post, " The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets. You can be more rational about your irrational thinking. Having made these observations, though, it's also important that when you are communicating to your partner -- and you want him or her to listen -- and respect you, then you should consider how you say what you say.

Communication and listening is a two-way street. So how can you communicate better? Pick the Right Time Sometimes you think you need to be heard the minute you have a thought or feeling.

But your partner might be wrapped up in something else at the moment -- the game, fixing dinner, trying to go to sleep, working on something, or just not in the right mood right now.

Relationship Communication: How to Talk So That Your Partner Will Listen | HuffPost Life

Use your experience to tell you what is definitely not the right time -- for example, "big process discussions" are seldom helpful right before bed -- or the minute your partner walks in the door. If you start talking -- and he or she isn't listening -- then ask, "Is there a better time to talk?

Don't use sarcasm or stonewalling. Edit it Down Many times you start talking and you just get carried away. Your partner is losing interest, drifting off, his third eyeball is rolling into his cortex.

how to talk out relationship problems

Nothing is getting through. Maybe you need to edit what you say.

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  • 1) The Four Horsemen Of The Relationship Apocalypse
  • The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse

Try to limit your comments to relatively clear and short sentences. Pause, ask for feedback, wait for your partner. Don't get on a soap-box and hold the floor.

how to talk out relationship problems

Make it more give and take. Think about what is essential and try to focus on that. One way of editing it down is to agree with your partner that there might be a reasonable period to spend on the topic -- for example, "Can we spend about 10 minutes talking about this?

7 Tips For Discussing Relationship Problems Without Creating Drama

Pause and Ask for Feedback Sometimes as a speaker you will go on and on, without pausing. Perhaps you think that you need to stay on your topic so that everything is heard -- or you fear that your partner will jump in and take the floor and you won't ever get a chance to speak again.

Slow it down, edit it down, and stop and ask for feedback. Make the communication two-way. If you feel your partner hasn't really heard what you are saying, then try asking, "Can you rephrase what I said? Don't Catastrophize Sometimes we think that the only way to get heard is to make everything sound awful. Sometimes that's a legitimate point of view, but if you make too many things sound awful you will lose your credibility. Try to keep things in perspective, try to stay with the facts, and try to keep things from unraveling.

Keep your voice in a calm tone, don't get carried away. Slow it down, quiet it down. You will be heard more clearly with a softer tone. In fact, if you stand back and think it through, some of the things that you are talking about may be unpleasant, inconvenient, or simply a matter of opinion. But "awful" might be a bit extreme. Think it through and decide if it is really as awful as you think and feel it to be.

7 Tips For Discussing Relationship Problems Without Creating Drama | Thought Catalog

Don't Attack Your listener is not likely to be a good audience if your discussion is a series of attacks and criticisms. Labeling your partner "Idiot," "Moron," "Big Baby" or over-generalizing "You always do that" is going to be a turn-off. This doesn't mean you can't get your point across and assert yourself. It simply means that you need to communicate in a way that is not as hostile. Making suggestions for change "It would be helpful if you cleaned up a bit more"while giving credit for some positives "I do appreciate your help with the shopping" can get you more attention and cooperation than out-right attacks "You are the most selfish person I have ever known".

That's OK, but your partner needs to know where you are going with it. For example, it may be that you might want to divide it up -- a few minutes of venting and sharing and then either drop the topic or go on to problem-solving. I've found that a lot of people just want to be heard and cared for. Ironically, I used to jump in with rationality and problem-solving very quickly until I realized that some of my patients and friends didn't want that.

Relationship Communication: How to Talk So That Your Partner Will Listen

They just wanted to explore feelings and feel supported. So, like a lot of "men" or people overly-committed to rationality and problem-solving I had to learn to give time and space for feelings. I have to confess that I was like a lot of the guys who have commented on previous posts -- thinking that this was a waste of time. I was task-oriented, committed to rationality, and focused on problem-solving.

So it required a lot of discipline for me to step back. As I spent a bit more time validating and listening and supporting, I found that the people I was helping were more willing to hear my rationality and problem-solving when we got around to it.

And, much to my surprise, some didn't need a problem to be solved.

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