Communicating your feelings keeps your relationship honest and open. When emotions such anger or jealousy arise, it is easy for your message to get lost in your feelings. Finding an efficient way to communicate feelings while keeping them in check will help you better convey your feelings. As a result, you and your partner will have more tools to solve conflict in the future and create a stronger relationship.
1. Communication Styles
Knowing how you and your partner communicate will play a role in how your message comes across. If you are a straight-and-to-the-point communicator, you have a linear style. If your partner likes to beat around the bush, he or she likely has a circular style. Knowing each communication style will lead to less frustration when you are trying to get your message across. To keep emotions in check, use a detached, direct or linear style; these employ less emotion and context and help you arrive more directly at the crux of an issue.
2. "I" Statements
"I" statements enable you to take responsibility for your feelings without blaming your partner. An example of an "I" statement is "I feel upset when you do not clean up after yourself." Compared to "you" statements, which point blame, "I" statements are clear and direct and do not assume intention. Use of these phrases leads to increased confidence and ability to handle emotions. You also model for your partner how to effectively communicate emotions.
3. Take a Moment
It can be tempting to let your emotions loose, but take a moment to stop and think about them. Self-reflection allows you to assess your situation to better define and understand your feelings. A short breather keeps you from lashing out at your partner or being overwhelmed by your feelings. When the moment is over, you are more relaxed and better able to calmly express your feelings.
Effective communication is a skill; like any other, it needs to be practiced. Honing this skill begins with emotional awareness. When you feel any emotion, such as anger, think about what happened before and during the emotion and reflect on how you responded. You will better understand your feelings when they arise and how you react to them and your circumstances. Practice emotional communication with your partner as a relationship enhancing tool. Your partner will learn how to spot your feelings and how to facilitate your communication of them.
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