In my previous blog, I detailed the ‘CLEAR’ method and how you can be personally responsible when communicating with your partner. Seeing as communication is one of, if not the most important aspect of a healthy relationship, making the most of this should be prioritized. You can do this by implementing “filters” when thinking of how exactly you want to speak and how you want to be understood. If you are able to use the following five filters, you will almost guarantee the clearest communication possible.
Is it Necessary?
Is what you are planning on saying going to add any value to the conversation at hand? Be mindful of sharing opinions and whether or not those opinions are negative. If they are going to add value, would they be helpful upon sharing them? Avoid gossip or confrontational statements and only strive to provide valuable insight if possible.
Is it Kind?
Never make a mean comment out of spite or with the intention of hurting your partner. Take a step back and consider if your next comment is a result of anger. If it is, take a deep breath and move on. Know the intention of your words and think about how they will affect the person you are speaking to. The ultimate goal should be to make the two of you closer.
Is it an “I” Statement?
An “I” statement is defined as voicing your concerns and sharing your perspective on a specific situation. For example, telling your partner “I feel upset when you don’t listen” is a much better alternative to “You make me upset when you don’t listen.” It’s a way of sharing your feelings consciously without pointing fingers. Passive aggressive comments will only shift blame and upset the person on the receiving end of them.
Is it True?
Never assume what you are about to say is factual. Pause to think about if your next comment is true or if you are simply trying to manage your partner’s perceptions. Are you trying to tell them how they feel, think, or why they may have done something? That is not something you could possibly know and therefore nothing more than a guess.
Am I Taking Personal Responsibility?
Make sure you are not blaming your partner or attempting to control them. Be personally responsible for your actions and how they may have contributed to the ensuing conversation. It can be easy shifting the blame and attempting to save face. Even blaming yourself is counterproductive and only negatively affects your mental health and relationships overall. Taking personal responsibility allows you to productively acknowledge what needs to be fixed and take the appropriate steps to do so.
To learn more about Tj Bartel and how he helps men and couples create more harmonious, deeply intimate relationships, visit his coaching website.