When you can't talk to each other without
getting upset-- one big reason why...
Most of us have had this pretty common relationship
challenge at one time or another (especially with
the people closest to us)...
You just can't seem to talk to each other
without one or both of you getting upset.
And this "upset" shows up in all kinds of
different ways with you and your partner.
Some typical ways this issue shows up are...
- Getting angry and withdrawing
- Getting angry and lashing out
- Withdrawing and holding in your hurt and
- Getting defensive and sarcastic
- Getting your feelings hurt and walking
- Getting frustrated and you don't know what
to do to change it
Whatever happens, the end result is usually the
same--you feel more distant from each other and you
don't feel connected.
If this goes on for any length of time, it may
even end the relationship.
Question From A Subscriber:..
"Hi Susie and Otto,
"I've been reading your emails for about 4 years
now and I just love them.
"I have a real problem right now in my
relationship I'd like some help with.
"Things used to be great between me and my
husband but now it seems like we can't even talk
to each other without one or both of us getting
"I mean... we still really love each other but I
just don't know what to do anymore.
First of all thanks for hanging in there with us
and for reading our emails for 4 years.
That's great but your situation and your
communication challenges don't sound so great.
So we'll give you some ideas to help you shift
your situation and help you create more of what you
want with your man.
One thing that's for sure is...
The two of us have certainly looked at
communication challenges from a lot of different
angles--to not only help people like you but quite
honestly, to help us keep our relationship close
and connected as the years go by.
The two of us do a pretty good job of staying
connected and believe us when we say, it works when
you pay attention to how you're communicating (or
not) and then take steps toward learning how to
actually do it--communicate, that is.
Okay, so if you can't talk to one another
without arguments, misunderstandings, anger,
defensiveness and withdrawing--what do you do?
How do you get back the closeness and
How to you stop the upsets and fights?
Here are some simple steps we encourage you to
start doing that we've discovered that open the
door to understanding each other at a totally
deeper and more loving level...
(Let us know how well these ideas work for you.)
1. Learn what your particular communication
style is and why other people are challenged at
times by your style.
This is certainly not making you wrong or laying
blame on you.
It's just that you have to start with you and
you starts by paying attention to what complaints
other people tell you they have with how you
For instance, you might be a "linear" type man
or woman and once you start on your "story" or
explanation, you don't want to be interrupted.
But what the other person can feel is that he or
she is being "talked to" and there's no
The other person might feel "not heard" and like
communication is a "one way street."
Or...your style might be to not say a whole lot
or be very careful when you do because you just
don't want to rock the boat.
You might be wary to say what you are really
thinking so you hold back and just agree or keep
As we just said, we all have different
communication styles and whatever your particular
communication style is--write it down.
Also write down your challenges with others and
what people have said you do "wrong" as far as
communication is concerned.
2. Don't make the other person's communication
style wrong but find places you can meet and grow
If we wanted to keep our relationship passionate
and alive throughout the years, the two of us had
to learn one big lesson--
Don't make the other person wrong!
And that's a big lesson when it comes to
Susie can jump from one topic to the next (the
typical feminine talent for multi-tasking) but Otto
wants to stay on one topic until it's completed (a
typical male talent for laser-like focus until
Talk about creating situations that are
frustrating for both of us!
Now we could make each other wrong--or we could
open to understanding each other and our "natural"
In fact, the very health of our relationship has
depended in a large part on us taking steps to
understand each other.
And it starts with not making each other wrong.
In understanding, it doesn't mean that we give
over our power or collapse into the other person's
It just means that we open to understanding and
finding ways to come together--as well as making
some agreements that help us do that.
One of our agreements is that Susie will ask
Otto before she launches into another topic if he's
ready to switch gears or not. He tunes in to see if
he needs completion and if not, we go onto another
Making our habitual, unconscious ways of
communicating conscious--and not making each other
wrong--can go a long way toward deepening love and
3. Make the switch in your mind to communicate
Okay, so we know that communicating to connect
is easy to say but when you don't have a clue how
to do it, it's not so easy.
The first thing to do is to breathe and stop
what you normally do to turn off communication.
We're guessing that when communication doesn't
work for you, you're not in a heart space. So when
you feel your old pattern coming up again, bring
your attention to your heart.
See your communication as a flow between you and
the other person and not just a "one-way
street."--you to them.
When you see this flow from your heart, you can
be more open to each other.
It also helps to learn some attitudes, words and
phrases that will help you stay in this
We created "Magic Relationship Words" to help
you find words and the intention behind those words
that would pave the way for understanding and
connecting with each other.
One woman wrote this to us after buying this
"I had a male friend stop by and because I so
believe communication is THE key to relationships,
I was able to recall the how to ask a question so
as not to put the other person on the defensive and
that was a victory for me such as ' I was wondering
if.........' along with other key wording."
This woman "got it" that her communication
style--or the words she typically used and the way
she said them--put her male friend on the defensive
which always stops communication in its tracks and
puts up huge walls between people.
We invite you to take an objective look at why
you can't talk to one another and then take some
positive steps to start opening and connecting.
Communication doesn't have to be hard.
It just needs to be about connection.
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
Dollars! You can also
read more articles like these and subscribe to
their weekly newsletter on love and relationships
by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
Their new E-book Should You Stay or Should You
Go? has just been released and is now available
See Archives 2009,
Other Relationship Issues,
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon
©1996-2019, Gordon Clay