Basic form of communication in relationships
Before you get the great idea of discussing a deep, traumatic wound or solve a long-standing problem, you may like to consider a few tips:
1. Subjectivity & Perception.
There is something like objectivity in life, yet relationships do not fall apart because someone is concrete, logical, or congruent. They break down because not enough attention is paid to the other party's perception, his/her subjective world of feelings and attitudes, and how they perceive the environment. It would be wise to be tolerant and patient of differences.
2. It’s good to know your own goal in an upcoming conversation. Do you want to talk with the aim of communicating, understanding, and to satisfy both sides, or do you want to be right and prove your point? If the first applies to you, keep reading. If the second, stop now—you are doing great!
3. Make an offer
Just because you see someone present in front of you in physical form, it doesn’t mean that this person is ready to talk. Here is how you may begin the conversation: “Is this a good time for you to talk?” If not, the other side must give you an alternative. “When will it be a convenient time for you?”
4. Words of encouragement
Assuming you came to the point where someone wants to communicate, it is good to start with positive feedback. After all this person is important enough for you to make the time to talk. Why? What do you appreciate in him/her? Say it. Let them know how you feel about them. At this point, if your action is not genuine or forced, it will be felt. If you cannot find anything positive to say, simply say: “Thank you for agreeing to this.”
5. Check-up point
Naturally, you will want to talk and express your concerns, however, if upon starting the conversation a disagreement should occur on the issue in question, you need to stop. It may happen that you start talking about last week's incident, yet your partner gets triggered up and decides to talk about an event that occurred a year ago. Make sure you are talking about the same topic.
6. “I” versus “You” in relation to senses and needs.
This looks simple, yet it sometimes needs practice. You are good to go if you say, for instance: “I see (you are walking around the room), hear (your voice gets louder), feel (scared, angry, sad) …"What should follow after expressing your need is the realization of that need, not what you hate or dislike in the other. “I need, would like to feel safe, have clarity, etc.”
7. One spoon at a time
If,for any reason, the communication is too long or too tiring for at least one of the parties involved, it’s good to take a break and schedule another time to continue. You both still need to digest what just happened.
8. Grace of ending
End with appreciation. Even if you haven't found a solution yet, you can always continue at a later date. “Thank you for your effort, time, talking ...”
The situation is as it is. There are no problems, there is only your judgment about other people and events.
I didn’t mention all aspects of negative communication, assuming you will draw the inevitable conclusion that anything opposite to that is not the way to find a solution, such as: leaving the room, lack of respect, forcing your opinion, etc.