Communication is at the core of every successful relationship. I once heard it put that it doesn’t matter how much you fight, but the way that you fight. Effective communication can make, or break, the relationship.
But what happens when communication isn’t there? Here are two lessons I learned from a non-communicative ex.
Words Are Important.
I am a writer, and have always been fascinated with the intricacies of words in the English language. Each word has a slightly varied connotation. Placing alternate words into a sentence can give it a wide variety of connotations. For example, “Mom called for us to come inside the house” sounds very different than “Mom screamed for us to come inside the house,” even though they are essentially the same thing.
Despite this, I didn’t realize just how important word choice could be until my ex and I started having disagreements.
The words you use during an argument are key. If you choose the wrong combination of words, you run the risk of escalating the argument. If you choose the right combination of words, then the argument is solved much quicker.
If I got angry or rash and used negative words, it was detrimental to the conversation. However, I noticed that if I spent a long time crafting exactly what I wanted to say down to the last word, I was able to explain what I was feeling. If I selected each word in an exact and specific manner designed to get my thoughts across without any sort of misunderstanding, then I could make him understand.
Whether you are expressing hurt, anger, sadness, or even joy, picking the perfect words is essential to communicating your feelings.
Words Shouldn’t Be THAT Important.
Word choice is incredibly difficult even when you are at your very best. In the middle of an argument when you are upset, angry, hurt, frustrated, or experiencing any other intense emotions, it becomes exponentially more difficult to choose the right words.
Emotions have a tendency to cloud the brain. When you are not in your right mind, it is nearly impossible to convey your exact thoughts and feelings.
The truth is that you shouldn’t need to. You shouldn’t have to pick the exact, perfect words.
Communication is a two-way street. Your word choice is important, but shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether or not your partner understands what you are trying to say. A communicative partner should ask questions, look at things from your perspective, and try to meet you in the middle when working through disagreements. Of course, you should do the same for them.
So, yes, do your very best to choose your words as effectively as possible. At the same time, remember that all the pressure should not be on you. Communication goes both ways, and it’s not your job to carry all the weight.