Communication, i.e. that remarkable ability to express yourself clearly and directly, can be quite complicated for people in relationships, especially if you are shy, afraid or fear the prospect of conflict. Yet, being averse to confrontation is probably the more reason why you need to speak up; you are meant to communicate your feelings, you are meant to listen and be listened to. You are meant to tell your partner what you want and the kind of boundaries you deserve, otherwise you set yourself up to be exploited.
This week, I decided to write a few thoughts on how we all can communicate better in our relationships.
Have a clear knowledge of what your needs are
To be able to communicate your needs, you must, first of all, know them. You cannot expect that the people in your lives are mind readers who can deduce what you want. Get clear on what your needs are during a particular situation by doing a bit of soul searching and asking yourself questions. This may sound simple but it can actually take a lot of work especially when you have developed a pattern of second-guessing your importance and relegating your needs to the background. Finding them and digging them out requires deliberation and hard work.
Talk about your difficulty
This is why a selfless and loving partner is important. It is good for you to share with your partner the challenges you have when it comes to saying what you want. Start by talking about the problem and letting him or her in. This will give them the knowledge they need to be more deliberate towards you and pay attention.
Baby steps before you finally get there. Start from the little things, say what you would like for dinner, when you would like to visit or place or how you like to have sex. It might not come naturally to you at first but the little things matter and lead to the big things especially when you really do not communicate any form of your needs whatsoever.
Pick your moment and stay calm
Maybe you are not the type to say things out in the open, when the world is there or when something else is going on. Pick moments and places that help you have clear thoughts. Although there is never a perfect moment, you might have to learn to create one by either asking your partner to step out with you are sending a text to announce that you would like to talk about your needs (having a keyword for this could help.)
It is important that you articulate your needs in a cool and calm tone; find strategies that help you become better in sharing your thoughts whilst understanding that your needs are equally important, and try your best to avoid being accusatory especially when your partner is not aware.