Archive for November, 2009

Relationship Communication

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

In order to stop a breakup and have a successful relationship, you both need to be able to communicate effectively, but the chances are, one of you has the upper hand regarding communication.

It is reported that more women can interpret non-verbal cues better than men can, but I know lots of men who can do this very well too. All human beings have micro-expressions for example, which are facial expressions they hold for a fraction of a second before they are aware of what their face is doing.

Perhaps, for example, you bump into someone you don’t like, but you obviously don’t want the person to know you you are horrified to see them, so you smile and pleasantly ask how they are. But for a split second, when they first caught your attention, you looked slightly horrified before immediately changing your expression to a smile. Even though you smiled, if the person is good at picking up non-verbal cues, they will have noticed.

It is these micro-expressions that tell people the likelihood of us lying and our true feelings despite what we are actually saying. They are quite universal and even body language experts often cannot hide these micro-expressions, but there are often charicteristics that are unique to each individual, that only people who know them will be able to interpret.

Nervous laughter at the end of a sentence can also give away that we are not feeling comfortable, and in a lot of literature on non-verbal communication, this behavior is often indicative of lying, but that advice is very unreliable because many people develop this as a nervous habit, whether they lie or not.

In addition, when we try to decypher what our partner is really communicating, if we are slightly paranoid, we may be reading just a bit too much into their behavior.

So no matter how good we normally are at perceiving people’s behavior, in order to prevent distrust and further conflict, there is only one way to find out exactly what is going on in our partner’s head.

What we really need to do is talk to each other. And when we suspect our partner is keeping something from us, rather than become accusatory, ask ourselves why this would be. If for example it is to save from hurting our feelings, then provide a disclaimer to that scenario immediately, by saying something like “You can tell me honestly – I won’t be offended”.

Make direct communication a healthy habit in your relationship. Just make sure you do it in a way that does not make your partner think you are nagging them. If you listen and regularly act upon their requests, they will have faith that talking to you openly is a good thing.

Best of luck.

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