Don’t Speak To Improve Communication
We all want to be in a relationship. Finding the right mix of characteristics in another person and feeling a mutual spark will mean no more wading through scores of singles that don’t even speak our language. When we find that person who just “gets” us, the whole dating thing will finally be easy and rewarding. Right?
If only. Instead, it’s when we find that someone special that the real work begins!
In between cuddling, breakfasts in bed and Netflix & Chinese food evenings come petty arguments, frustrations and the gradual building of those oh-so-fun resentments.
The funny thing is that when you talk to other couples that have been together for years, they reassure you that those feelings are normal. They roll their eyes, slap you on the arm and say, “Of course we fight and find each other annoying!”
Really? I guess I missed that memo while growing up watching Cinderella and dreaming of prince charming. And by growing up, I mean ‘til my mid 30s.
My couple friends also assured me that in time, you learn how to fight, become more comfortable living together and your relationship gets easier and, if you’re lucky, deeper.
A friend recommended the book The Relationship Handbook by George S. Pransky and claimed it was the single best book for handling your relationship conflicts.
Pransky actually encourages couples NOT to communicate when they are down and out and feeling negative. He swears that not focusing on an issue often is the best way to move toward a resolution. In other words, remember your mother’s rebuke: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I hate it when she’s right.
“Communication is a pipe through which feelings pass,” Pransky writes. “If the feelings are positive, the relationship will be uplifted. If they are negative, the couple’s level of closeness will drop. In a relationship, then, the quality of the feelings that passes through the communication pipe determines the state of that union. What brings new closeness and goodwill to a relationship is more positive feelings – not more talk.”
He claims that when you’re actually in a good mood and feeling good about yourself, your issues with your mate won’t seem that important.
“When people are insecure, what they want and don’t want feels a lot more compelling to them,” he continues. “But when our spirits are high, we’re more understanding. We can see both sides more easily. We see that ‘issues’ are not as important in the grand scheme of things as we thought they were. ”
I can just picture it: Right when you’re ready to blow, take a moment to check yourself and sleep on it. The morning always brings bright skies and better moods, no? Then when you do bring up your “issue” you’ll be able to avoid the usual expletives. He looks cuter in the morning, all straggly and innocent. Much better than the stuffed bunny that used to accompany you to bed when you were single.