2 Communication Elements That Work Like Magic
By: Kathy
April 14, 2013

What 2 elements does communication need in order for it to work?  Couples always come in saying their problem is “communication” – and that is A problem, but it is not THE problem.  THE problem is that they cannot communicate without 2 crucial elements. . .

HUMILITY – A good conversation with your spouse just will not work without humility.  If you are going to share your life with someone, you are going to have to be able to hear that you are wrong sometimes!  You have to be able to hear that something you do hurts your spouse or that they need you to change something so that they can get their needs met.  No, your spouse isn’t supposed to change who you are, but we have to be able to make some modifications in order to accommodate our spouse from time to time.  If you are unwilling to make any changes for your spouse, then you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship anyway!

Having the humility to look inward and recognize that you are not perfect and sometimes you might actually be quite a pain is essential to a relationship.  This not only makes the relationship flow more smoothly and build a healthy, intimate bond with our spouse, but it also helps us to grow into a better person overall!

EMPATHY – Empathy is the 2nd element necessary for healthy communication with your partner.  What is it like for your spouse to be feeling what they are feeling?  What is it like for them to have to talk to you about it?  What do you know about your partner’s life experience that contributes to them feeling the way that they do (i.e., extra sensitive to criticism, fear of conflict, fear of abandonment, etc.)  What has happened between the two of you in the past that might make communication difficult between you now (i.e., if you have not been humble in the past, they may have difficulty trusting that you will be now)?

If you can keep the conversation focused on the other person and what they are feeling and experiencing, the conversation will be productive.  As soon as we lose that empathy and make it about ourselves (defensiveness, attacking, blaming, taking it personally, etc.) it goes off the tracks!

When we learn how to incorporate humility with ourselves and empathy for our spouse into our relationship, I guarantee things will begin to go more smoothly.  I have seen the most hardened person melt when they finally saw the person they love and want to be loved by show humility and empathy towards them.  Keep in mind, however, these elements are not just “tricks” to use in conversation.  The real effect on the relationship comes from making these two elements a part of your every day interaction with your spouse because you love them.  When your spouse begins to trust that you have a consistent spirit of humility and empathy about you, your relationship will show it – I promise!