Not Talking is Sometimes the Best Relationship Communication
Ahhhh, communication—that beloved bulwark of the solid, healthy relationship. Since the 1970s—think Alan Alda—the trend toward improving communication between the sexes has been the centerpiece of couples therapy and most relationship self-help books. Our intimate relationships, and how we rate them, are defined by the partners’ ability to talk things through.
While it is true that quality communication can yield a deeper emotional connection between partners, just communicating for the sake of communicating isn’t always the best choice. Sometimes it is ok, more than ok, to just let something slide. Yes, couples should practice regular open, honest, and meaningful communication most of the time. However, here are some situations when not talking about it is the wiser course of action.
- Sometimes we are just in a foul mood.
That’s right, anyone will agree that there are days when you may walk around looking for a reason to pick a fight. Or, there are days when you are not the kindest version of yourself and exude a toxic aura around you. We are all permitted to have bad moods from time to time, so why not ask yourself, before opening a big can of worms by initiating a serious chat to discuss the many ways your partner is being a jerk that day, if he or she is simply in a crummy mood. Give it a day or two and if said nastiness hasn’t resolved, then it is time for that chat.
- No need to dissect each and every issue.
This may go against the cultural norm for present day relationship etiquette, but sometimes it’s fine to let some trivial difference of opinion pass by without a diatribe. Just give it a pass. Two people can be deeply in love and not agree on every single issue in life. In fact, having divergent opinions on some issues is healthy for a relationship and keeps it real—and more interesting. I mean, who wants to be married to a yes-man or ok honey-gal who just nod away in agreement at every thing you say just to avoid conflict? BORING.
- Before discussing it, learn how to really listen.
Let’s face it, when we believe we hold the higher moral ground on whatever issue we stubbornly latch on to that belief like a dog does a steak. We may feign to be open to the other’s point of view during a discussion of said disagreement, when in reality we are silently planning our witty repartee to launch at them when they finally finish yammering away about their own position. Learn first how to truly listen actively while your partner is sharing their thoughts and be open to maybe, just maybe seeing their point of view. Otherwise, hold off until you can listen with an open mind.
- When tempers need to cool.
Throwing gasoline on a flaming inferno can spark the fight from hell. When tempers are red hot and verbal barbs are blazing between you, why not just take a breather and reconvene later for a more sane discussion of said grievance. Attempting to talk things through while in the heat of anger is only going to cause the conversation to escalate to a really ugly place. Anger begets anger. So, why not suggest the two of you regroup later after you each have time to settle down. Only at that point will talking prove productive instead of pyrotechnical.
Couples should indeed cultivate quality communication in the relationship, but equally important is recognizing when silence is indeed golden. Knowing when to just let it go can be the best communication strategy of all.
PeoplePsych Therapists Coach Couples in Communicating and Connecting
PeoplePsych is a team of highly trained psychotherapists who can help partners find their voice within a relationship, and teach them effective and compassionate communication skills. For more information about how the therapists at PeoplePsych can help you take your relationship to the next level, contact us at (312) 448-7218 – our Clinical Coordinator will connect you with the right therapist for you.