Let’s be honest: Communicating how we feel in a relationship can be hard at times. Things get misinterpreted and mixed up constantly, and little misunderstandings can easily turn into big arguments. Mabel Iam, author of I LOVE YOU, NOW WHAT?, shares the 7 rules for communication that you should always abide by for a strong, happy, loving relationship.
- Be careful when using the words no or don’t, because they can lead to the opposite of their intended effect. For example, think of “no”: nothing comes to mind. Now, try this: Don’t think of the color red. I asked you not to think of the color red, but you probably did. Try to form your sentences using positive and not negative phrases. Instead of saying, “Don’t talk to me that way,” try, “I’d like it if you’d say that to me differently.”
- Note your use of the word but, which negates everything that came before it. For example, “He’s a wonderful guy, but . . .” Instead, substitute “and” for “but” whenever you can, and you’ll notice a positive difference in the way that others interpret your comments.
- Talk about your problems or negative characteristics in the past tense. When you transform your verbs from the present to the past tense, you are programming your mind to send your old limitations to the background and focus on new ideas in the present as a means of bringing about a positive change in yourself. For example, you might say, “I used to have trouble with . . .”
- Refer to the changes that you hope to bring about in the present tense. For example, instead of “I’m going to achieve . . .” say, “I am achieving . . .”
- Use “when” instead of “if” when referring to your plans and goals. For example, say, “When we save the money, we’ll go on a trip,” as opposed to, “If we save the money . . .”
- Replace “I hope” with “I know.” For example, say, “I know I’ll learn,” instead of “I hope I’ll learn.” The word hope implies doubt and weakens the assertiveness of your language.
- Replace the use of the conditional tense with the present tense. For example, replace the phrase “I would be thrilled to see you” with “I’ll be thrilled to see you.”
Find more about falling in love in I LOVE YOU. NOW WHAT? by Mabel Iam!
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Excerpted from I LOVE YOU. NOW WHAT? by Mabel Iam. Copyright © 2008 by author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Photo by Shelbey Milley on Unsplash.