How to Strengthen a Good Relationship

Sometimes it is difficult to tell someone what you are really thinking. You may worry about a negative reaction or starting an argument.  You may even decide that there is no good time to bring it up at all.

Getting Your Partner To Listen

Most of us have had the experience of being upset and communicating in a way that makes the other feel attacked. When this happens, a person’s natural reaction is to become defensive. Sometimes the other will even attack back. All the other person can hear is that he or she is to blame. What you have intended to communicate is not heard or understood.  You don’t get the response you want.

Better Communication

To get another to listen, it helps to make the conversation about your feelings instead of what you think of them.  Also, start and end with a positive statement about the other. For instance, “I always appreciate your help, but I get angry when you forget to take out the trash. I know you wanted to help”  as opposed to, “You never take out the trash.” This keeps the focus on what you feel and not what is wrong with them. Feelings are always right and undisputable. When your partner hears what you are feeling instead hearing a factual statement of what you think, her or she can focus on what you are really meaning to express.

About Jill Silverman, LCSW

Jill Silverman, LCSW has been helping individuals and couples with her introspective therapy for over a decade. With compassion and warmth, she is dedicated to assisting those who seek ways to handle life’s stressful situations, manage difficult emotions, reestablish and rebuild more rewarding relationships, and overcome negative feelings. With an office in the San Diego area, Jill Silverman is a therapist with the clinical knowledge and training to provide people with the coping skills they need to increase confidence and understand life’s ever-evolving challenges with clarity and insight.