Most people do not realize that their communication pattern with a significant other has the ability to determine the course of a relationship. In its simplest form, communication can be described as listening and talking, but most people do not realize that comprehending is also an important factor in the communication process. Often times in a disagreement, individuals are defensively trying to prove their point and as a result, what may be said by their partner may fall on deaf ears! While it is important to be understood and validated, it’s equally important to understand and validate the significant other’s needs as well.
The saying, “actions speak louder than words” is the best way to describe how nonverbal communication tells the true story about how someone may feel about a certain situation. Nonverbal communication makes up ninety percent of communication and ranges from facial expressions, body language such as gestures and signs and the use of space. So while an individual may be saying one thing about a situation, it is important to observe the nonverbal cues to truly assess the truth.
It is important to discuss the hard topics in a relationship. It may appear that it is easier to ignore a situation or “just hope for the best” that things may work themselves out. However, the more a couple chooses to ignore relational issues, the more the couple is allowing for resentment to have a permanent place in the relationship. While a couple may be functioning everyday, the underlying tensions will affect the level of intimacy and closeness that a relationship deserves.
Effective communication is possible in a relationship, the couple just has to be willing to actively comprehend their partner’s needs, manage and assess the nonverbal cues while communicating, and be willing to maturely discuss the hard relational issues in a solution focused manner to decrease the level of resentment that can take place in a relationship.
Dr. Roselyn V. Aker-Black has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a freelance writer, life coach, psycho¬logical consultant, relationship expert, and owner of www.tildeathinfo.com, an interactive website dedicated to providing realistic relationship advice. If you would like to comment on this article or ask Dr. Roz a question, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org