It’s true to say that most people, if asked, would say they were good communicators. But are they? Couples who go to counsellors often say they don’t feel they’re communicating effectively. The message sent out doesn’t equate to the message received. And that can create a whole lot of problems in a relationship.
It’s also true to say that communication is crucial for a relationship. But communication can’t be left to chance. It doesn’t necessarily happen spontaneously. In fact, it’s really a skill that can be learned.
How well do you communicate?
Try this quick test:
1. How can you show that you really listened to something your partner said?
(a)Nod, give them visual clues that you’re listening and say ‘Mmmm’
(b)Tell them what you think they said and check out if this is correct
(c)Turn back to your computer and continue your search for what interests you
(d)Tell your partner how you feel about what they’ve said
2. Your partner is preoccupied reading while you are frantic with chores to complete. Do you…?.
(a)Ask them to help
(b)Ask them sarcastically if they want a cup of coffee
(c)Cast them the odd dirty look and go even faster
(d)Yell at them
3. When, in your view, is the best time to discuss something really important?
(a) In the car when they’re driving
(b) Over the phone
(c) Over dinner
(d) After sex in the hope of getting a more positive response
4. Your partner has just told you something which has upset you. Do you…?
(a) Say something that you know is guaranteed to upset them too
(b) Pretend it’s all okay
(c) Try to explain what you’re upset about and why
(d) Walk away and make it clear you’re really angry
5. You think your partner has something on their mind but they haven’t said anything. Do you….?
(a) Try to guess their concern and say what you think this imagined concern is
(b) Wait until they decide to speak up
(c) Start worrying that you’re going to break up
(d) Ask them if there’s anything on their minds that they want to talk about
Look at your score:
1. (a) 0 (b) 1 (c) 0 (d) 0
2. (a) 1 (b) 0 (c) 0 (d) 0
3. (a) 0 (b) 0 (c) 1 (d) 0
4. (a) 0 (b) 0 (c) 1 (d) 0
5. (a) 0 (b) 0 (c) 0 (d) 1
What’s your score: /5?
0-1 – Communication classes needed
2.3 – Not bad
4.5 – Go to the top of the class
The rules of love
One of the rules of love is: Be the best communicator you can be! Work on your skills and make sure your practice makes for better communication each day. Build on your listening skills and you’ll become much better at communicating with your partner.
Learn more about how to communicate effectively in The Rules of Love