Communication is the key to a good partnership and the way you communicate says a lot about the nature of your relationship.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 7, 2020. It has since been updated.
Communication is the keystone upon which relationships are built. If you express yourself to your partner and the partner is receptive towards the communication then the relationship works like a charm, but if there is a communication gap or substantial miscommunication between the two of you then the relationship begins to shake like a ship in a storm. Positive Psychology speaks about how healthy communication can strengthen the relationship and how it can be a boon. On the other hand, non-responsive behavior can have adverse effects on the love you share, according to a study.
Essentially, the way you communicate is important and the way your partner responds to you when there is a confrontation also says a lot about your relationship. Let's take a look:
When you ask your partner something, do they explain themselves properly? Do they tell you, in detail, their thoughts and their intentions? Do they tell you about why they did something the way they did it? If yes, then your partner believes in sharing the smallest details of their thoughts with you. They want to be open about their own intentions and they want you to understand the motive behind their actions. They tell you things in detail because they want you to be on the same page as they are.
This means that they value the relationship as much as you so and they believe in healthy communication. They tell you things not because they have to but because they feel you have the right to be a part of their innermost thoughts. This is a sign of a strong and healthy relationship.
Sometimes, when you ask your partner something, they will only tell you things in bits and pieces. They will not elaborate on the matter but will reveal only the things that they deem important enough to be disclosed. This is partial communication based on the partner's assessment of what is necessary for you to know and what's not.
Now, while this may appear unhealthy, it may not always be so. Some partners are not that expressive and that's alright. The point to note is that they respond to you with courtesy, politeness, and are patient in their replies. If you ask more, they reveal more, not because they want to hide things but because they felt certain things were not important enough to be put out there. Here, you have to understand that the quality of conversation matters more than the quantity, and that determines the health of your relationship.
Sometimes, your partner can be evasive in answering your questions. Whatever you ask, they may either try to get away from the conversation or try to shrug it off as unimportant. They would act as if the matter is not worth the trouble of responding and they may even ask you to let things slide.
This kind of evasive behavior signifies that they may be trying to hide something or they may not be comfortable sharing certain things with you. While a certain amount of space is justified, if they do this regularly then you may need to take a step back and assess your relationship. If your partner is often evasive then healthy communication and sharing of thoughts is not their priority. It could lead to great miscommunications and resentments in the future.
Some people are highly averse to responding to their partner's questions. They get agitated if you ask them something and they get annoyed at you. They immediately get defensive and start lashing out. Sometimes, they walk out, lose their tempers, or reply extremely rudely, no matter how polite you are.
This is an extremely unhealthy way of communication and your partner clearly does not value you enough to be polite (if this behavior is the norm). They do not give you the respect that should be accorded in an equal relationship and they clearly do not want to work as hard as you do for the relationship. This is a kind of relationship that may turn out to be abusive with time and is definitely not healthy for either of the partners.
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