A young couple came into my office last week fighting about everything under the sun. Although the partners thought they were clearly communicating their thoughts and feelings to each because they were quite articulate, anything could’ve been further from the truth. As I witnessed their communication style unfold, it soon became evident that it was not what they were saying to each other that was creating the tension and fighting in their marriage. Rather, what was not being said was at the heart of their miscommunication – and fights.
Following are three things you must know about non-verbal communication to help your love grow.
Be certain your verbal and non-verbal communication does not contradict each other. For example, if your partner asks you if you would like to go out to dinner, and you verbally say, “yes” while shaking your head “no”, your non-verbal communication is inconsistent with your verbal message. This behavior sends a mixed message about what you really want to do. Mixed messages are often at the heart of many misunderstandings between couples. The best way to remedy this problem is to say what you mean, mean what you say and make sure your non-verbal communication supports your verbal communication.
Do not assume silence implies agreement or consent. If you ask your partner if they share your feelings and/or thoughts about something, and they do not respond positively or negatively but remain silent, many people assume the silence implies the listener is in agreement with them. This is often not the case. Therefore, it’s important you get clarification as to what their silence means. In response to their silence, ask your partner: “I don’t really know what your silence means. Do you agree with me or not?” You get the idea.
Make eye contact as much as possible. During the course of any face-to-face conversation, try to maintain eye contact with your partner. This means you should try to avoid having conversations while in different rooms or multi-tasking (for example, reading on the computer while talking to each other). Eyes truly are the window to the soul and will reveal many unspoken feelings that you can ask your partner about if they should arise.
While verbal communication is necessary for a healthy marriage, non-verbal communication can take your happiness to new heights.
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,