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10 Things Every Couple Needs To Stop Doing

10 Things Every Couple Needs To Stop Doing

Most couples develop some bad habits over time that can wreak havoc on the relationship. Here are 10 things every couple needs to stop doing before they damage their relationship.

1. Giving Your Partner Your Partial Attention

Checking email, texting, or watching TV while your partner is in the same room doesn’t constitute quality time together. However, many people have difficulty unplugging and giving their partner their undivided attention long enough to hold a real conversation. Give your partner your full attention so you can truly connect with one another.

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2. Skimping on the Compliments

You can never give too many compliments. However, as a relationship matures, compliments often begin to dwindle. Give your partner plenty of encouragement. Offer praise and genuine words of encouragement to help your partner navigate each day with confidence.

3. Keeping Score

Keeping score and trying to ensure that everything is fair can make couples argue more like siblings. Everything doesn’t have to be fair in your romantic relationship. Trying to keep a tally of who has done the most or who has earned something will only damage your relationship. Focus on giving to your partner rather than worrying about what you’re getting.

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4. Not Being a Person of Your Word

Your partner needs to know you are trustworthy. Make promises that you’ll follow through with. Don’t say things that you don’t mean and don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Building trust, loyalty, and security in the relationship means that your partner needs to know you are a person of your word.

5. Talking More Than Listening

Communication should involve listening more than you speak. However, most people focus more on getting their point across rather than truly trying to understand what their partner has to say. Focus on listening to your partner and developing an understanding of your partner’s point of view before trying to express your opinion. Listening to your partner can reduce a lot of conflict caused by misunderstandings.

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6. Listening Passively Only

Listening should be an active process. However, many people treat it like a passive activity. Not talking doesn’t constitute listening. In order to actively listen to someone, you should ask questions, nod your head, and seek clarification when you don’t understand. Get rid of other distractions and focus on what your partner has to say by showing you are actively trying to understand what is being said.

7. Making the Relationship Lower on the Priority Scale

Relationships often top the priority scale in the beginning but over time, a relationship can slip down the priority list slowly. Kids, jobs, extended family, and friends can all take precedence over the relationship if you’re not careful. The lower the relationship falls on the priority scale, the more likely the relationship will suffer.

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8. Offering Criticism

Giving too much criticism can break down a relationship quickly. Offering your opinion about what your partner doesn’t do right or should be doing differently can create a wedge in the relationship. Offer feedback in a way that is tactful and diplomatic and make sure you are giving more positive feedback than negative.

9. Nagging One Another

Nagging is an annoying habit that can make a relationship become more painful than joyful. It’s okay to ask your partner to do something but avoid nagging if the job doesn’t get done according to your time frame. Treat your partner like a responsible adult, not a child who needs parenting.

10. Trying to Change Each Other

Trying to change your partner will only backfire on you in the long-run. You can change yourself only. Focus on changing your own behavior and it may or may not lead your partner to change. Accept that you can’t force your partner to change and accept that your partner does not have to do what you want.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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