When you are in a relationship what are the signs that you could be in trouble?
Relationships make life better, however, it is easy to get stuck in poor communication habits because you are comfortable with each other. You might not even realise you are in this trap when you are in a relationship.
Everyone tells you that communication is the key to happiness when you are in a relationship. But what does that even mean and how do you do that when you are in a relationship?
Did you know that there are 6 ways you could be communicating that will cause trouble when you are in a relationship? It’s time to go through each one to see if they are happening in your relationship. If you are single you can work on practicing good communication skills so you don’t fall into these common traps when you are in a relationship.
Read the 6 signs with an open, objective mind. As you read each one score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 to find out if each one is an issue for you. This will help you become aware and make any necessary changes when you are in a relationship.
When you are in a relationship here are 6 Signs to Look for
1. Criticism – When you are in a Relationship
Did you know that when you continually criticise your partner when you are in a relationship it is a sign that your relationship can fail? Maybe you feel that you are encouraging the other person to do/be better but criticism rarely achieves this instead it tends to make the other person defensive.
When you are in a relationship give feedback in the form of constructive comments rather than criticism. This kinder and more effective way of talking to someone you care about. It is important to create a relationship full of support and appreciation. Refuse to criticise or accept criticism when you are in a relationship. Too often issues are disguised as joking criticism. Instead, take the active step to quit sarcasm and replace it with sincere communication when you are in a relationship.
Unsupportive: ‘I asked you to clean the house and you did a terrible job. You always manage to mess things up! You should have known how important that was to me!’
Resourceful: ‘Thank you for taking the time to clean the house, I appreciate the effort you made. Would you mind if gave you a little bit of feedback?
Although feedback is often better given at a different time.
Blaming and shaming are one of the quickest ways to kill love when you are in a relationship. Do you blame your partner for what you don’t like and about what goes wrong in your relationship? When you do this you are making the other person wrong so they feel bad. This is not what you want to happen when you are in a relationship.
Unsupportive: ‘You are the reason we don’t have any money and our life is so tough. It really is all your fault because you NEVER follow the budget and waste money on things we don’t need. You said you would stick to the budget, you make me so angry.
Resourceful: I get worried we won’t have enough to pay the bills, I feel anxious and stressed. I don’t want to feel that. How can we work together on our finances? What do you think we can do?
2. When you are in a Relationship there is Interrupting
When you interrupt someone else, it gives the impression that you aren’t listening to them. It looks like you are only interested in what you are going to say next. When you are in a relationship it is important to listen, no matter how hard this is! Interrupters are often bad listeners.
Try mirroring what the other person says to you. You do this by letting the person say what they need to say to you and then repeating back to them what you believe they have told you. Then ask if you got it right. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and validate what they are saying. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, you are just validating what they have said. You can do this by saying, I understand how that would feel.
Yes, it takes a little longer but it will improve your communication when you are in a relationship.
Unsupportive: Interrupting them before they have finished talking.
Resourceful: I heard that you feel like I haven’t had enough time to spend with you. That I have been distracted with work and it makes you feel unimportant. Is that what you were saying? Did I miss anything? I want to make sure I understand before I share what is happening for me.
3. Body Language and Tone of Voice
Your tone of voice and body language are important when you are in a relationship. It is often not what you say but how you say it! It is also easy to get into bad habits like rolling your eyes, having your arms folded or not paying attention to what your partner is saying when you are in a relationship. Your tone and body language can show that you are being dismissive and disrespectful.
Unsupportive: Rolling your eyes, shutting down (known as stonewalling), crossing your arms and not listening.
Resourceful: Open body language, a calm tone of voice and make eye contact with the person you are talking to when you are in a relationship.
4. The Elephant in the Room
When you are in a relationship beware of the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is those unresolved issues that come up and you keep avoiding or ignoring them. Problems don’t go away, in fact over time when ignored they get worse and can even snowball out of control.
It is important to have open and honest talks where you both hear what the other person is saying. Otherwise, those resentments, grievances and hurts will ruin your relationship.
Unsupportive: I can’t get over what you did and I can never forgive that. Your apology just doesn’t cut it! I can’t let it go and that’s your problem!
Resourceful: What happened has really hurt me and I am struggling with it. Let’s get to the cause of the problem so we can move past it. I am scared that it will happen again and hurt me even more. it’s important to me that you realise what you did and the effect it had on me. If we are going to start again, I want to be able to forgive you.
5. There has to be a Winner
Do you have to always to ‘win’ the argument, get your own way or you always have to be ‘right’? If you answered yes then you are on the wrong path. When you are in a relationship good communication is not a win-lose situation! It is about being able to listen to each other. You want to be able to listen to both perspectives.
Unsupportive: You are wrong and you get way too emotional to think rationally. I am rational and know better than you do!!
Resourceful: I appreciate that your point of view is different to mine. Could you tell me more about your opinion so that I can have a better understanding?
6. Tech Use When you are in a Relationship
The average couple spends more time on their smartphones than talking to their partner. When it isn’t the phone it can be TV! Ditch the tech and find ways to be present and in the moment with each other when you are in a relationship. Make a habit of talking and touching.
Unsupportive: Giving more time to your smartphone than you do to the people you love.
Resourceful: Making time for each other. Go for a walk, turn the TV off and chat or make sure you eat dinner together. Your relationship will be stronger and happier.
Persist when you are in a Relationship
You may have gotten yourself into bad habits when you are in a relationship when it comes to communication. It may take a bit of time to change those communication habits so it is important to be patient with each other. Make the commitment to persist, take bite-sized steps and take one day at a time. It will be worth it to be you closer together! The rewards are well worth it when you are in a relationship with someone you love.