Continuing our conversation on Respectful Communication….
7 steps to enhance respectful communication
- Model the behavior you wish your partner to emulate. Do not justify your bad communication or behavior because of your partners.
- When you forget to communicate in a manner that reflects your respect and love for your partner catch yourself in that moment and offer a sincere apology. Commit to doing better in the future.
- Do not attempt to justify your bad behavior for any reason. Everyone has bad days but they do not excuse such lapses. Responsibility for all your actions means that you are the source of everything that you do and all situations that you provoke. Realize this and commit to not repeating past trespasses.
- If you sense an energy of resentment building in your partner, do not step over it. Create a sincere opening for your partner to share what their concern is with you. Do not allow the resentment to fester. Do not argue, interrupt or invalidate what they say. Wait until they are complete before offering any constructive response.
- Remember, your goal during any such communication is NOT to be right and win the
argument. It is to listen attentively and look for a way to diffuse a potentially destructive
situation. You have a choice…you can be right or you can happy and have your relationship work…but you can’t be both. Let wisdom prevail.
- Practice being a good listener. If you find yourself speaking more than you listen, this should present a big red flag that your communication is ineffective. Do not interrupt, raise your voice or play the victim role. Listen with a sincere intention to have your partner be heard, honored and respected.
- Periodically, check in with your partner to ask how you are doing. Does your partner feel heard and respected? Do they feel loved and appreciated or manipulated, dishonored and controlled? Accept feedback with gratitude for your development and without argument. The feedback is given for your benefit and the benefit of your relationship, whether you agree with it or not
My husband and I check in with each other often. The goal is not just to have a good marriage but a great marriage. It starts and ends with respect for each other.