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Love is the foundation of any relationship, but sometimes love alone is not enough to sustain it if some crucial elements are missing. Respect, empathy, understanding, being a good listener are some of the things that could help strengthen the bond with your partner over a period of time.
Our response during a fight, especially could affect the long-term viability of a relationship. At the end of the day, we tend to remember more how a person made us feel when we were vulnerable.
Psychologist and author Dr Nicole LePera, also popularly known as The holistic psychologist in her recent Instagram post explains how better communication can create healthy patterns and eventually a strong relationship.
“People can have incredible amounts of love between them, but if they don’t know how to communicate what they need or what they feel, the relationship will eventually have dysfunctional patterns. These patterns will create resentment,” says the expert.
While infidelity, addictions, domestic abuse, family issues, incompatibility are among the top reasons behind the end of a relationship, a lot of times it is miscommunication that is the culprit.
“Many people will say that most relationships end because of money issues or infidelity. The truth is: relationships end because of communication issues,” says the psychologist.
Many of us do not want confrontations. We would rather brush out issues under the carpet. Our tendency to ignore conflicts could be because many of us grew up in homes where adults shamed, judged, blamed or criticized each other regularly or maybe because we saw people avoiding conflicts altogether, says Dr LePera.
“Subconsciously, we learn that conflict is ‘bad’ and can lead to someone leaving us. You’ll know this is a part of your past if conflict causes you to feel panicked, shut down, or in immediate fear of losing someone,” says the expert.
It is only human to have a conflict and it is part of all relationships and the best way to have healthy conflicts is to acquire good communication skills. Such conflict can go on to create a deeper emotional connection between people.
1. Fully listen to your partner’s perspective without cutting them off or interjecting your own point of view, or denying your partner’s reality.
2. Remain grounded while expressing your issues.
3. Ask or assess if the other person is in the right emotional state to discuss the conflict.
4. Stay curious about your partner’s experience.
5. Know when your nervous system is overwhelmed and take breaks in between.
6. Only speak for yourself “I felt” rather than “you did x” or “you felt x”.
7. Make the other person feel safe throughout the conflict. Do not turn aggressive, scream, slam things, insult, or shame the other person.