Love & Sex Magazine

Happy Talk, Or Yakety-Yak?

By Barbarajpeters @CouplesAuthor

Whether we’re married, engaged, committed, or single, talking takes up a big part of our day. Relationships of all kinds, including those with our kids, involve communication. Face it, much of the time we don’t communicate effectively. There are just too many distractions and variables for us to depend on getting our messages across clearly all the time.

Happy Talk, or Yakety-Yak?There are several things you can do to make your communication with anybody, particularly your partner, more effective.

  • State your needs clearly, using the word “I” to indicate what and why you’d like something done by another person. For example, “I need you to take the kids to the park today because I’ll be busy with a work project.”  The action is clearly requested and a reason given.
  • Say “please” and “thank you” often. Rather than acknowledge a kindness routinely, add meaning to your response. “Thank you for having my car washed today. What a nice surprise – I love driving around in a clean car,” is so much better than a mumbled “Oh, yeah, thanks.”
  • To keep confusion at a minimum, try paraphrasing requests made of you. This will let the other person know you understand what they are asking you to do. “What you are asking me to do is pick up your cleaning at Rogers’ Cleaners this afternoon?” Paraphrasing might sound stilted at times, but it can definitely avoid problems communicating!
  • Express your feelings. Rather than have a request or statement explode into an argument, phrase what you feel and give a reason for feeling the way you do. Does this example sound familiar? “When you yell at the kids and lose your patience, I feel frustrated and upset. I’d like you to speak more calmly to them.” This allows the other person to know exactly what you mean and what solution you’d like to see happen.
  • Remember, body language and facial expressions speak volumes. If you are speaking the “right” words, but your face is clouded with a scowl, your arms are tightly crossed, and your feet take a fighting stance, what are you really saying?

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