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Think back to the last argument you had with your partner and ask yourself how it went. An argument is never pleasant, but there are ways to communicate where you can get your point across without yelling or hurting your partner’s feelings.

Unfortunately, many people get carried away with their emotions and forget even the basics of healthy communication during an argument. Keep reading to see whether you and your partner are making some of the most common communication mistakes and, if so, how you can fix them.

The Most Common Communication Mistakes Couples Make

You care about your partner and the last thing you want to do is hurt them. Unfortunately, we all get caught up in the moment sometimes and arguments happen. When you and your partner are having a tough conversation, it’s easy to throw things like active listening and “I statements” out the window, but these are the times when you really need them.

Here are some common communication mistakes couples make and some tips to fix them:

  • Yelling and screaming when you get angry. Yelling is never an effective way to communicate and the chances are good that if you’re yelling, you’re not listening. If you find yourself screaming at your partner, take a moment to breathe and calm down before continuing the conversation.

  • Apologizing too much. After a rough conversation, you may feel guilty and find yourself apologizing. If you’ve done something that hurt your partner, an apology is definitely warranted but being overly apologetic or apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong has no benefit.

  • Giving your partner the silent treatment. If you’re upset with your partner, you may be tempted to shut them out as a sign that you’re mad. Unfortunately, all you’re doing is making things more difficult by avoiding a conversation and by hurting your partner through your behavior.

  • Being accusatory or speaking in absolutes. When your partner does something that hurts you, it is perfectly acceptable to point it out (in a loving way) but avoid making accusations or using absolute language like, “you always” or “you never.” Instead, say “I feel.”

  • Invalidating your partner’s feelings. You and your partner are two different people, so you are not going to understand each other perfectly at all times. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do – don’t tell your partner that their feelings are stupid or invalid.

Making assumptions about your partner. If you’ve been together with your partner for a long time, you may feel like you know them better than you know yourself but that doesn’t give you the right to make assumptions about their feelings. When you assume, you don’t actually listen to what your partner is saying and that derails a conversation more quickly than anything else.

Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. It doesn’t matter how in love you are if you and your partner can’t have an honest conversation about difficult topics that affect your relationship. Take what you’ve learned here and ask yourself whether you and your partner are making some basic communication mistakes and, if so, what you’re going to do to change that.

~VS Glen, Community Support
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