We all know that communication is key in relationships. However, how we communicate is just as important as the communication itself. Kris and I don’t get it right all the time, but I’d say that we usually do okay.
I’ve learned a few things that work and a few that don’t. Such as….
· Addressing an issue in the form of an attack. For example: I try to avoid comments that begin with “You never” or “You always”. This, more times than not, forces Kris to be defensive. He shouldn’t have to “defend” himself unless I catch him eating the last of my cereal before I’ve had my bowl.
· Addressing something that bothers you while that something is happening. I will usually wait until we are alone and time has lapsed before I address an issue. I do this for 2 reasons: 1) I may feel differently about it later, thus saving Kris from any unnecessary tough conversation and 2) if I still feel a need to address the issue, he is less likely to take offense and receive what I have to say, because he is far removed from the situation. This rule is null and void if said offender leaves the toilet seat up or changes the toilet paper roll by simply placing the new one on top of the old one. This calls for immediate dialogue.
· And, finally, communication sometimes simply involves telling Kris something I love about him, thanking him for something he does, or praising him for his accomplishments. It is important that he knows that I appreciate him and that I believe in him. For example, he is an excellent pilot, and I tell him all the time. Actually, I tell him that when I see his hand pushing that throttle forward, I kind of melt inside. For real.
What have you found that works or doesn’t work?