In relationships, there’s communication, and then there’s effective communication. Communication is something that takes a lot of work, and once you’ve successfully positioned yourself as a communicator, the next step is to crack the code at being an effective communicator. If you’re at that step, try these 5 mini steps to help you along with effectively communicating your feelings.
1. Allow Yourself to Feel
Going into a conversation with guilt or apprehension about your feelings? That won’t help you or your partner. You’re completely allowed to feel whatever you’re feeling, and you’re also allowed to talk about those feelings.
2. Label your Feelings
You’re experiencing these feelings, but are you reading more into them? Are you labeling them and trying to put into context the essence of your emotions? It’s not easy to do, but it’s a really important exercise for you to do on your own before opening up and sharing with someone else.
3. Start with Yourself
If you’re extroverted or you like talking about your feelings a lot, your first inclination may be to talk it out with your significant other. That’s a great thing to do, but it begins with you. You’ll have a hard time processing everything if you’re influenced by someone else’s insight or advice. Start with yourself, and then work your way up to a discussion with your partner.
4. Remember How Much You Matter
You matter to your significant other; your feelings matter to your significant other. Keep this in mind and try to negate the potential fear or hesitation you may be experiencing. Swap those feelings for feelings of confidence and security in the strength of your relationship.
5. Swap “You” for “I”
Whenever you get close to saying “You made me feel” or “You did this,” swap it for a personal statement. A conversation is helpful for you to share your perspective – not for you to point fingers at your loved one. Think about how you feel, why you feel that way, and what has happened to contribute to those feelings.
Above all, when you’re entering into a conversation with your significant other, be happy that you’re taking this step. It’s excellent for you and even better for your relationship. Give yourself (and your partner) a pat on the back for working through something difficult, and keep yourself reminded of the light at the end of the communication tunnel – a happy, healthy dynamic between you and your partner.