Communication, whether it is verbal or nonverbal, has great importance in the development of human relationships. When it comes to spouses, it becomes fundamental to a healthy relationship. Studies reveal observations unveil that spouses who prefer good sittings of conversation lead a hassle-free life.
Among couples, communication is a tool for developing spiritual intimacy and mutual understanding.
Listening and speaking are the two major parts of relationship communication. They are correlated. Effective listening boosts the speaker to describe his point of view openly while polite and clear speaking enables the listener to be all ears.
To communicate with your spouse, sharpen your listening skill. Have you had any experience communicating with someone whose body was there but mentally he was absent? It would have been frustrating. Wasn’t it?
Usually, people with no communication knowledge think ‘listening” is just waiting for your turn to speak. It is the biggest mistake in communication. Listening is the first condition of effective communication.
Listening is a way to provide someone a chance to share their ideas freely. It is a way to show empathy, love, care, and emotional intimacy.
One of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, Mr. Carl Rogers, is of the view that it is effective listening that compels us to change our views and accept the changes. Listening is the best way to change our thoughts and behaviors.
While listening to your spouse be humble and have patience. Give them time to convey their thoughts and concerns freely.
The more you are attentive to them, the more they get the confidence to share themselves fully.
How To Be A Good Listener?
In a relationship to be a good listener, use verbal and nonverbal signals to encourage the speakers, don’t interrupt until they are run out of steam, don’t be an armchair psychologist, don’t come with sudden unsolicited advice, rephrase their words, don’t parrot back, and use nonverbal gestures to make them assure you are all ears to them.
The following techniques will help you in becoming a good listener. Being a good listener, you will understand your spouse better. It will develop emotional intimacy between you people that will further lead to a healthy relationship.
Use Verbal And Nonverbal Signals To Encourage.
There are some unobtrusive signals to encourage the speaker to carry on. Usually, we use, “dominant nodding, I see, and uh-huh” to make our partner fluent.
Sometimes they need silence to collect thoughts. At this point, being silent is a better option. If there arises a need, give them space before communication so that they may organize their thoughts properly.
Don’t interrupt Until They Run Out Of Steam.
One of the most important things in relationship communication is to keep quiet and let your spouse hold the floor. If they feel angry or upset, it becomes especially true not to interrupt them.
If you are interacting with an angry spouse, get them help in offloading everything that they have on their mind. It will help them in their catharsis and they will be able to think clearly and positively.
Don’t Be an Armchair Psychologist.
Being human beings, we all have developed a habit of being armchair psychologists. We assume that we can console our partners, whatever the matter is. But as a matter of fact, it is not. When our partners are speaking, we interrupt and come up with our own theories. It is disgusting. The worst of it is that your partner will get angry with you.
Don’t Come With Unsolicited Advice.
We try to advise according to our own previous experiences. Psychology says, even if two people have the same experiences regarding a particular issue yet their past life, upbringing, and traits of personalities are different. Thus, they can’t have the same emotions.
Relationship means sharing. The relationship does not mean full occupation. Stuffing the mind of your spouse with multiple pieces of advice during the conversation is undesirable.
The ideal seems to go with your advice if your partner asks for it. If they don’t ask and you realize you have better proposals, even then be limited in them.
Rephrase Their Words, Don’t Parrot Back.
It is believed that repeating the words of spouses during the conversation makes them feel that you are all ears to them. To some extent, it is true. But being a parrot in repetition is so disgusting. Let’s have an example.
Your spouse has been disturbed at work and he shares it with you as,
“Even giving my hundred percent, my boss is not satisfied. Now I am fed up and want to consider other options.”
Two possible potential replies are here. Which one do you think your spouse will consider more encouraging?
A) So even giving your hundred percent your boss is not satisfied and now you are fed up and want to consider other options.
B) So you don’t want to continue the job anymore.
Which one sounds better to you? Though the first one shows that you were fully attentive to your spouse while he was communicating, the second one reveals that you understood his point of view fully.
Being a parrot in communication annoys. What the speakers want is to understand their point of view. I hope you have got the point.
Speaking in a relationship is not just about what you say. It is also about how you say it. Engaging your spouse while speaking is an art that determines the ways of problem-solving. Using your vocal cards effectively enhances the chances of getting more attention.
How To Be a Better Speaker?
Being polite while speaking, lowering the pitch of your voice, developing a smoother and clear voice, cutting out verbal tics, using short sentences and short pauses, and varying the pitch and tone of your voice, you can be a better speaker.
Politeness and Courtesy.
Communication, when it is among spouses, demands politeness and courtesy. The sweetness of the tongue can solve many issues. If one is tender in its approach, the other will calm down even if the intention was to behave rudely.
Those who enjoy the laughter of their spouses know to communicate politely and make the scenario pleasant.
Lower The Pitch Of Voice.
Many types of research have demonstrated that spouses who have lower pitch while speaking are perceived as more confident and convey their message with more competency than those who have breathy voices while talking.
Among spouses, whether they are husbands or wives, clarity of voice matters to a large extent. The more clarity in communication, the more it will be an effective sitting.
Lowering the pitch of the voice can be achieved by practicing sitting and standing up straight and counting slowly from one to ten. Practicing breathing can also lower the pitch of your voice. Relaxing the muscles is an addition to effective speaking as it allows the soothness to be evident in speaking.
Use Vocal Exercise For Smoother Voice.
It happens that when spouses are under stress, their voices start quivering. By practice, those quivering voices can be smooth and stable. Taking a deep breath and then exhaling it at a lower rate with a hissing sound is a good practice.
Use of alliteration like “three free throws” is also effective in vocal exercise for smoother voice.
Cut Out The Verbal Tics.
During teaching, I have noticed many of my colleagues with verbal tics like using “Um” a lot during their lectures and small talks. The use of these vocal tics is natural to many of us. But it annoys. It can’t be advocated, nor it should be justified.
To know to what extent it is undesirable to the listeners, if possible record your voice for ten minutes and then listen. You will better understand why it is necessary to eradicate it from your communication.
If your spouse is habitual of your verbal tics, even then to cut these out of your speaking will make you a better speaker, worth listening to.
Use Short Sentences And Words.
Communication among spouses is not to impress each other. It is about problem-solving or just for the sake of gossip that is meant for pleasure.
Short sentences are easy to understand and one can happily digest them. Speaking in short sentences that can be completed in a single breath is always a better choice.
Be a Master of Pauses.
If you want to lend extra weight to your messages, use pauses. They help the listener to understand your point of view clearly.
Some of us take it as merit to be fluent without pepper pauses. We just do not speak to be listened rather we speak to be understood. The more you bring pauses during your talk with your spouse, the more they will be able to digest your ideas.
You can be the master of pauses by listening to your recorded voice. You will better understand where it needs to pause and where to carry on.
Varying the Tone and Pitch of Voice.
On different occasions and on different topics, we need to vary our tones. While saying to your spouse “I love you” you need a romantic and soft tone whereas asking them to hurry up for dinner tends to convey the message that it’s necessary to be fast in action.
Overall, one’s tone should not be like clamor or mono. There should be a balance, as the balance is the real truth of speaking.
Nonverbal speaking means body language and gestures that we use while communicating. They should have sweetness in them as they convey a strong message. These are also our behaviors. Communication starts with nonverbal attitudes that decide whether we will end in effective communication or not.
How to communicate with your spouse?
By listening to understand their opinions and point of view and speaking politely to make them understand your opinion and point of view, you can communicate with your spouse effectively.
The more you are attentive, the more you will be able to understand them. On the other hand, when it comes to speaking, sweetness under the tongue and clarity in pitch will make the understanding easy.
Never forget the importance of a pleasant scenario and a fresh mood for your spouse when you intend to communicate with them. If you create a proper room for communication and consider the mood of your spouse, definitely you will have a dedicated and result-oriented sitting of communication with your spouse.