We've all had days where we feel as though we just aren't connecting with an individual in our lives. Perhaps you're upset about something that happened during the day, and your partner isn't taking the time to listen? Maybe you have received bad news, and you don't know how to communicate it to someone you care for? Or just perhaps you feel as though you and your partner have grown distant and you're just not sure how to just hang out and talk anymore?
These are common feelings to have about any relationship you have in your life, and it's inevitable that we will come across barriers to communication that prevents us from expressing our true emotions. So whats the problem with that? Well, first of all, we all have bad days every now and then, life is not always rainbows and daffodils after all! But when these bad days come up, we're going to be bottling up emotions, frustrations, anger, sadness, or fear about whatever is going on in our lives. To release this tension and prevent it from boiling over and causing a mess, you have to release the steam and vent your frustrations to a close individual in your life. Whether it's your romantic partner, mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent or friend, we're bound to turn to someone we know will listen. However, nothing is more frustrating than when the very person you turn to, turns away from you and doesn't take the time to hear you out (or at least that's your impression).
The thing is, we all have expectations for the people in our lives whether we believe it or not. For example, we EXPECT our partners to be faithful, loving, compassionate, and thoughtful of us and they expect the same in return. Alternatively, we EXPECT our friends to have our backs, pick us up when we're down, and allow us to be crazy and silly when the timing calls. Take a minute and think about the expectations you have for the people in your life. Are you asking too much? Are you overwhelming them with things you know they can't accomplish in time? Are you failing to see they're drowning and need you to lend a hand for support? When you consider these questions and become mindful of the effects your expectations have on your ability to communicate with your partner, you will see how quickly things will turn for the good and your ability to be a reliable support system will be changed for the better.
Keep in mind: Relationships, like a wave, raise up and down with the changing winds. One minute things are great, and the next a thunderstorm is rolling in. To combat the changing tides, we must adapt and know what our partners, friends, or family members expect of us during their low times. This means making sacrifices in the form of time and effort to be their shoulder to cry on or their scaffolding to hold them up. We must be mindful of what our expectations are and ensure that we are fulfilling them to make the bad day a little bit easier on the relationship. Nothing is better than being surprised by a phone call, an unexpected hug, a card to say "I love you," or a text saying "hang in there, I believe in you!" The little things make the heart grow stronger, and the relationship grows fonder. Although it may not seem like much, you may have made your partner's day by just fulfilling an expectation they may not have known they had for you.
The main idea here is protecting your partner's sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and overall self-confidence during times where they may feel as though they have none. Breaking down the communication barrier does not just mean having a quick chat to check in, it means taking the time to know what your expectations are within your role in the relationship and fulfilling them to ensure your partner is receiving the support they need when they need it.