BY ELLEN KLEIN
If you don’t communicate your feelings and needs with your partner, then it will be practically impossible for them to be met.
But it goes beyond that.
How we communicate also affects how our messages come across. Passive, aggressive remarks or over-the-top reactions are not healthy. Use this advice to reduce conflict and increase understanding:
Know Your Communication Style
Everyone has different communication styles. Clashing with your partner’s communication style can be a great source of unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding.
Becoming aware of the different styles of communication is a wonderful step towards reaching common ground. There are four different styles of communication:
Aggressive communicators interrupt, speak in loud tones, blame, and dominate conversations. Your partner may value their own needs and feelings if this is their style.
Passive-aggressive communication happens when your partner makes you aware of their needs indirectly. They’re more concerned with their own needs, even if they appear passive. Their anger comes out in subtle eye rolls and sarcasm.
Passive communicators avoid expressing their feelings and needs altogether. They don’t assert themselves in conversations and have poor boundaries in their relationships. This can lead to their partner talking over them. Over time, passive communicators may explode from the buildup of emotions.
Assertive communicators use a calm tone of voice in conflict. They advocate for their own needs and feelings without disrespecting that of their partners. They listen without interrupting and usually have more control over their lives. This is a very healthy way of communicating and a style both of you should work towards.
There are so many factors that influence these styles. It’s not always a bad thing if your communication style differs from your partner’s. It becomes an issue when you are constantly clashing or remaining unheard because of it.
Once you know your and your partner’s communication style, you can work on bettering how you communicate.