If you have ever been in a “relationship” and had pots and pans streaming toward your head, you will no doubt know the importance of communication in a relationship. From remembering to say thank you and show your appreciation, to knowing when is the appropriate time to tell your partner that you find their breathing tempo to be that of a bridge dwelling troll, knowing what to say is just as important as knowing how to say it.
Many relationships are doomed from the start because people fail to realize that men and women communicate a bit differently – you know, all that Men are from Mars, women are from Venus shebang. One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling down or nostalgic is to read articles on the Internet about life advice from older people in the twilight of their lives. People in their golden years can be a treasure trove of life wisdom. One of the reoccurring themes that appear in those little life advice articles is how communication is key for a happy relationship. And conversely, poor communication can destine you to a life of knitting on a Saturday night (actually that sounds pretty good). So, in other words, learning to communicate may help prevent a breakup and misunderstanding before it begins.
The Secret Communication Sauce to Prevent a Break Up
The relationship game is a high stakes game. It requires patience and forgiveness, especially when that is the last thing that you feel. However, just because I am growing rather fond of you, I am going to give you a special arrow in your quiver that will save you lots of heartache and communication woes. I would be lying if I told you that I discovered this seemingly simple nugget of gold on my own. It was given it to me by a marriage counselor of 30 years. He told me:
Whenever you find yourself in one of those ‘moments’ of misunderstanding where you feel an argument brewing, just cement in your head the phrase:
So, if I am hearing you correctly…[insert iteration of what you think he/she said].
Now on the surface, you are probably saying what kind of click baity shit article am I reading? Now granted, it may seem simple, but there is nuance and a certain conversational ninjitsu about it. If you think back on your previous relationship breakdowns and fights that seemed to avalanche from the benign, you would be blown away at the number of times said fight could have been avoided altogether if you would have used this phrase.
More often than not, you didn’t hear what you thought you heard. While it is easy to leap to anger, the wise wo/man takes the time to understand. Seek to understand before being understood aka flipping shit on your hunny bunny/stud. So let the phrase…”So, if I am hearing you correctly…” be your opportunity to get to the bottom of your partner’s real feelings in a calm, and frankly, Don Juan manner. You may just end up preventing a fight over nothing and a night of eating Kraft Mac and Cheese from a box wondering where your life went wrong.
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