Communication 201

40 years love 16Just when you thought you had it all down – you knew the secrets about exactly how to talk with your spouse – you’ve noticed that you don’t seem to be making any headway in your attempts at communicating effectively. So what do you do now? You’re already following the techniques of active listening – understanding what your partner is really saying, mindfully reacting to it, and responding positively. And you know about the different planets men and women hail from, making motivations as well as well as methods of communication very different on Mars and Venus. You even have mastered the practice of fair fighting, controlling your emotions and focusing on cooperation and compromise rather than hitting below the belt.

Now – just in time to help with your 2014 New Year’s resolution to enrich your relationships – researchers have uncovered some new tricks for you to add to your toolbox. Here are three that can put that added thrust on the momentum you need to move forward.

Look inward and consider how you can change your own communication and behavior rather than focusing only on how your want your partner to adapt. According to experts, as you are more willing to conform with your significant other’s desires, you’ll find that your partner actually changes in ways that please you.

Recognize that gender differences may lead to misunderstandings in communication between you and your partner. Research indicates that men and women’s brains tend to be wired differently, beginning in puberty. Women, with more connections between the two sides of their brain, are better able to multitask as well as think analytically. Men, on the other hand, have more connections within each side, allowing for more focused attention to one task at a time or linear thinking. As a result of both hormones and socialization, typically women are better able to express their emotions verbally and also more likely to remain emotionally affected longer than men. Acknowledging these differences in skills, style and endurance can be the impetus to develop a communication strategy together that meets both of your needs.

To maintain your relationship, you and your partner may find it helpful to look at the strengths and weaknesses in it. If you want to identify issues that are causing trouble, taking a test to rate your marriage can spur lively discussions as well as insight about how to improve it.

Creating open and honest communication with your partner plays a significant role in a lasting relationship. Check out some additional ways to keep your loved one close. It’ll help keep you warm during these cold winter months.

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