"A clinical counsellor on Vancouver Island says it's natural to feel anxious in light…
Communicating doesn’t always come easy but it is the cornerstone of strong relationships. Without strong communication, relationships can be tough sometimes, leaving you feeling angry, confused, hopeless and exhausted.
Avoid communicating in a way that only results in distancing and lingering problems. Recognize and manage the four relationship killers.
Improve your communication skills. Often couples need help to establish healthier communication and break old hurtful patterns.
Here are just a few of the many strategies that can make a difference.
Schedule regular check-ins
- Set aside a time every week to talk together. Make sure each person has an uninterrupted opportunity to share how they are feeling. Keep it light at first until you get the hang of it. Talking when you are going for a walk can be a non-threatening and enjoyable way to begin this habit.
Soften your start-up
- If something comes up between check-ins, avoid ambushing your partner. Instead, find a quiet time to suggest having a discussion. Don’t start with criticism….instead start with something like “I’m glad we have a chance to talk. This is really important to me”.
- Try to see the other person’s point of view. Sometimes it helps for each person to list what things are non-negotiable and what each can compromise on. Then look for common ground.
Use “I” statements
- Don’t assume you know how your partner is feeling or why they do what they do. Instead, focus on how you experience something. An example could be “When you interrupt me, I feel frustrated. Can we talk about how this can change?”
Cool it down if necessary
- If the conversation starts to get too heated, agree to take a 20 minute break so that it does not escalate into hurtful comments or harsh words. Ask each other what’s the most comforting and do that.Go for a walk, give each other a message, but above all, be good to each other.
Know when to seek help
- Most if not all couples can benefit from relationship counselling, whether it be a “tune up” or a more in-depth support. Contact us for more information.
At Waypoint, we know that finding the right marriage or relationship counsellor can be difficult. And the fit between the counsellor and the couple has to be strong. We will help you and your partner find the best fit for your unique needs and style. A counsellor able to listen and use a style you can connect with. Don’t know which of our counsellors to choose? Contact us and ask to speak with George Bielay, the Clinical Director. He will help determine the best fit and help you get booked for a complimentary session to see if it fits for you.