The Importance of Communication in Couples 51

The Importance of Communication in Couples

This is a guest post by Dr. Syras Derksen, a psychologist in private practice in Winnipeg.

Successful communication in couples is key, and is a solid basis in a stable relationship. However, effective communication can also be hard to achieve – especially when we are emotionally disturbed or not using good communication techniques.

It’s impossible not to communicate.

Even in silence we’re always communicating. We communicate verbally, through writing, and through our gestures and behaviors. It’s all about the words we use, the way we dress, the way we behave, and what tone/writing style we use in our messages and e-mails.

When we receive these messages we interpret them all quickly and often in a way that is out of our awareness. Although we are quick to assign meaning to what we see and hear from others, we are not always accurate in these interpretations.

How does communication get lost?

To communicate we need at least two people (a message sender and a receiver). Those two people need to be willing to talk and listen to one another. To truly listen and try to understand what is being said, one needs to be emotionally available.

But often we see in our daily lives that even though we make an effort to communicate, we’re often miscommunicating and being misunderstood. Misunderstandings lead to arguments and conflict.

Establishing good communication skills between your partner and yourself may help you solve conflict effectively and in so doing develop a deeper relationship connection.

To do so, you need to eliminate barriers to communication, whether they are physical or emotional. There are lots of things, even the cleanliness of the space, that can create emotional difficulties, and these can all effect communication.

How can good communication skills be developed?

Being able to communicate effectively is without a doubt a very useful tool. It’s easier on some than others. However it’s not impossible to be an excellent communicator, even if you do not gifted.

Here are three simple rules to help you get started:

  • Choose a right time and place. Not all messages can be transmitted in public and your message receiver also needs to be emotionally available to listen to you. For instance, when stressed out, you is less likely to listen to criticism, even though there may be some accuracy to the criticism. To help reduce stress, ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met, like making sure that everyone is well rested and not hungry or thirsty.
  • Be respectful towards your message receiver. Before giving your message, try to communicate something emotionally supportive. For example, if you were going to ask someone to do something different in a job interview, first say that you feel they are a good fit for the job and that you want them to succeed. Being emotionally supportive and using a respectful tone of voice as well as choosing words carefully will help your message receiver be available to listen to you.
  • Your message must be short and clear. Get to the point and try to be as clear as possible on what you intend to say. Lead no room for other interpretations. This does not necessarily mean being blunt, but it also means that you may need to think about what you want to say before entering the conversation. Being clear on what you want to convey can take some thought.

Everyone makes mistakes in communication and working hard to reduce these mistakes can make a big difference. It is also important to realize that communication is not the only thing that is needed. Showing you care in other ways can help a relationship survive the odd communication slip.

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How to Stop Perfectionism from Ruining Your Business 6

How to Stop Perfectionism from Ruining Your Business

Perfection in your work is amazing – but perfectionism is a trait that can prevent you getting anything done.

If you find that you frequently miss deadlines, alienate your teammates, or develop stress symptoms as a result of your fear of less-than-perfect, it is likely a good idea to recalibrate your efforts.

This harmful breed of perfectionism is known as maladaptive perfectionism. It’s a problem because pushing yourself to reach unattainable results is a lose-lose situation.

Whether it is time limitations, restricted resources, or your own physical limits that hold you back, continuing to strive for perfect work when the conditions aren’t right will harm the work and will harm you.

But how can you temper your perfectionism without compromising your standards? As it happens, there are plenty of ways that have been scientifically demonstrated to be effective.

In Brazil, for example, researchers have shown that using visualization techniques to put your worries into perspective can help you to form a more realistic strategy to proceed. When you catch yourself stressing over a detail or panicking over a deadline, put a couple of minutes aside to sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of everything that’s going right with your project, and everything that’s going wrong. This way you will get a more objective idea of what you’ve achieved and what is still possible.

Perfectionism also has a social aspect.

This has become acuter with the rise of social media since we are bombarded with constant reminders of just how well our friends and rivals appear to be getting on. You may find you have a particular friend (or more than one!) who loses their social filter when they get online and has a tendency to leave unasked-for and negative ‘feedback’ on anything you share.

Social media is not reality. If you find yourself competing with the heavily-mediated expectations that come with life on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then do yourself a favor and simply log off.

Even a one-month social media detox can help you get a little more of that precious ‘perspective’ that perfectionists so dearly need.

But perhaps the most valuable lesson at all is to learn to embrace flaws and mistakes.

The world is not perfect; even nature has its glitches and shortfalls. Deliberately integrated into your work, through clever design or just through learning from your mistakes, imperfection can make what you do more resonant and more beautiful.

The Japanese have a name for this: wabi-sabi. Learn to enjoy that which you cannot control, and the world will become a less intimidating place.

Sounds like a good place to start? You’ll find nine great tips on how to make the most of your perfectionism in this new visual guide from Saving Spot.