2019-02-14
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Communication is essential for a relationship to prosper and survive long term. That said, not everyone is a great communicator. Wanting to explain things to your partner or defend your opinion does not necessarily make you good at doing it. There are many people, however, who think that they are excellent at communicating with their partner, but their significant other is consistently left more confused than ever. Here are some warning clues that you are the poor communicator in the relationship.

You never give the conversation your full attention.

You may think that you are the greatest multitasker on the planet or claim that you need something to do with your hands when you are talking. That does not excuse you from the basic rules of conversation etiquette. You need to make eye contact when you are talking to someone, and when they speak, you have to look at them so they know you are listening. If you are fiddling with your phone, checking your email or measuring flour when your partner is trying to have a serious conversation with you, you are sending the message that they are not worth listening to in your eyes. You are also not catching the nuances of their body language and miss parts of their concerns because you are not paying attention.

You have a habit of interrupting them.

Unless you are secretly an omniscient deity, you do not already know what the other person is going to say before they say it. As such, you need to keep your mouth shut and let the other person finish before speaking. This is one of the most basic rules of being civil, but an astonishing number of people struggle with it when they are talking to their partner. 

If you keep interrupting your partner, you are sending a clear signal that you have no interest in actually listening to them. It also shows that you do not respect them enough to even bother hearing them out. You may think that you can anticipate what they are going to say, but you are not a mind reader. You have no idea if you know what they are going to say or not. If you do know because the two of you may as well be following a script when you talk, there are bigger problems afoot.

You walk away from conversations all the time.

There is something to be said for walking away from a conversation that has you so wound up that you are risking saying something that you will later regret, but that should be an extremely rare occurrence. If you are constantly leaving a conversation midstream, you will never manage to fix anything in your relationship. Relationships require conversations and conversations require both people to be present. It is true that walking away is better than blowing up at someone you love, but if your partner makes you so angry so often that you have to walk away from every conversation, there are bigger problems in your relationship.

You avoid tough conversations.

No one enjoys having uncomfortable or tough conversations, but no relationship lasts without having to have at least a few of them. Those tough conversations are also some of the most important discussions you will likely ever have with your partner, but the pair of you cannot deal with those issues if you keep running away from those conversations. You may not want to deal with the discomfort of having the conversation or you may know that you were wrong and not want to admit it, but you cannot have a healthy and lasting relationship if you are unwilling to deal with a bit of temporary discomfort. 

You hear instead of listening.

More than half of a conversation should be made up of listening. Listening, however, is something that few people seem to remember how to do. Instead, everyone simply hears their partner talking and spends the entire time their significant other is speaking mentally crafting their own response. This is not helpful. If you want to resolve an issue, you need to actually listen to your partner and try to understand their point of view. You do not necessarily have to agree with them, but you do need to work at seeing things from their perspective. You cannot do that if you have essentially checked out of the conversation before they even finish their first sentence. 

They keep saying they don’t understand.

When someone tells you repeatedly that they do not understand, it is not always because they are struggling with comprehension. Sometimes it is because you are not explaining yourself well. If your significant other keeps telling you that they do not understand what you are trying to tell them, it might be because you are not making your point very well. This is especially true if you feel like you are repeating yourself and cannot figure out why your partner is still so confused after the fifth time you explained something to them. The truth is, they are probably baffled because you failed to explain it well the first time, and you simply repeated your statements the next four times. 

Bad communication can ruin even the best relationships. Do not let it destroy yours. If you are the poor communicator, learn how to be better and ask your partner for patience while you learn. You have to improve your own skills, but until that time your significant other may have to shoulder more of the burden. So long as you work hard toward one day carrying your fair share of the communication burden, this should not be a huge problem. After all, supporting each other is what relationships are all about in the first place.