Monday, May 12, 2008

Marriage Monday


Have you ever felt like you and your spouse have a hard time communicating with each other? Like everything you say is taken the wrong way, or your spouse just doesn't understand your feelings? Communication is difficult at times because we communicate with more than just words. Research shows that more than 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. If a message is misunderstood, it may be because of the nonverbal messages that are being sent through your tone of voice, hand gestures, facial expressions, eye contact or posture.

At times our nonverbal messages contradict the words we say, and may actually more accurately convey how we REALLY feel and think. So, how can we learn to communicate effectively?

1. Become aware of your own thoughts and feelings
2. Share those feelings in a caring, respectful way by stating what you feel without blaming
3. Focus on your spouse - try to imagine how they might feel about what is being said
4. Look for nonverbals - notice what is not being said but may be communicated through your spouses body language
5. Think before you speak - filter your words by asking yourself "how will my partner feel if I say these words."
6. Express appreciation - A simple thank you can make your spouse feel valued and appreciated.
7. Practice forgiveness - we all blow it sometimes and say things we shouldn't. Try to be the first one to apologize and the first to will be reciprocated!

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