One of the things we often want in a relationship is good communication. But what does that really mean?
- Consistency. When communication is healthy, there is consistency. Texts are answered in a fairly timely matter and communication routines get set over time (chatting over dinner about your day, phone call at lunch, daily contact when one is away, etc.) When consistency exists in communication, we are not left in a position of guessing and we can begin to count on our partner to be there for us when we reach out.
- General sense of openness. Let’s face it; having to tell our partner when we are upset about something is not always easy. Being on the receiving end of constructive criticism can also raise our defenses. But overall, when communication is open, there is a general feeling that approaching our spouse with something sensitive is going to be received in a respectful way.
- Anger doesn’t lead. When communication is healthy, anger doesn’t take center stage. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t disagreements, and of course, tempers will flare. But the focus then moves into repair. No silent treatment for days, no brooding or grudge holding as a way to punish. If anger is leading, you have lost the openness of healthy communication.
Communication is an important element in creating a healthy relationship; requiring a balance between our feelings, thoughts and actions. If newly dating, be cautious if these characteristics are not present (remember, people show you who they are early on) and keep in mind, that this is all workable stuff when both people in the relationship are invested. 🙂 Tomorrow we will continue our exploration of what healthy relationships look like.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@joshuas