No one likes to hear bad news, but the truth is that the consequences of refusing to talk about issues can be far more damaging. Breaking down barriers and opening the lines of communication is a real skill. Here are 5 ways you can help your partner share.
1- Ask an Honest, Direct Question
Just asking seems so obvious, but so many people skirt around the issue. This passive aggressive approach is not an effective way to communicate. It might be terrifying, but it is the best way to get an honest answer.
2- Share Your Own Struggles
Let your partner know some of your own feelings and vulnerabilities. This will make your partner feel like they can trust you that it’s safe to do the same.
What does your body language convey? Do you appear calm and open to listening? Is your tone soft and relaxed, yet not timid and nervous? You need to show your partner that you are confident and won’t shy away from anything they may choose to share.
4- Be Patient
This is an entrenched pattern for your partner. It is not something you can change in one moment or a single conversation. Notice the improvements in dialogue and openness and show appreciation for even the smallest positive changes.
Therapy will help you learn a vocabulary to identify emotions. When you know yourself, you make it much safer for them to trust you. Invite your partner or help them seek out therapy on their own.
This is an investment in yourself, your partner and your relationship. It won’t be easy, but you will be rewarded with a deeper connection and understanding between you and your partner.
Could your partnership benefit from seeing a relationship therapist? We can help. Call (510) 497-4174 today.
This post was written by Lani Gouws on behalf of The Bridge Therapy Center. If you have any questions or require more information, please contact Lani here: firstname.lastname@example.org