The biggest problem in relationships is miscommunication.
Every day on my show, people call to ask me how to deal with issues they’re having with spouses, parents, and other family members. When I ask them if they have asked that person about it, the response I typically get is, “Well, no.” It’s like people don’t really want to know the answer. However, if you do find out, at least one of two things can happen:
- You won’t have to suffer anymore.
- Something might actually get resolved.
So, when you are having a problem with another person, talk to them about it. Make sure you speak how you would want to be spoken to. If you start out with an attack, you’ll end up with a war. However, if you begin with kindness and clarity, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with the entire situation. When you’re talking to your spouse and have something to say that’s a little edgy, start out with, “Sweetie, ....” Always begin positive, and then frame whatever it is you want them to know.
Then, ask for a response. Sometimes people won’t answer your questions or acknowledge your feelings. Sit there and say, “I need a response. I need to understand what you’re thinking and feeling.” Never assume you know how someone else feels.
Talking something out doesn’t mean you’re going to get your way or be happy with what you hear. But at least you have the important information.