5 Ways to Keep Positive Communication Flowing Regardless of How You Get it Out

BY: - 3 Jan '18 | Communication

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It would take an entire book in itself to touch on every different communication style. If you Google different communication personality types, you’ll find a range of categories you can fall into that vary based on the system used or who came up with it. However, there are a few things that influence your communications style that it’s important to understand when trying to communicate with your spouse clearly.

Compliant and Non-Compliant

Some people are “pleasers.” Their main goal is to avoid conflict. They want to do what they can to make and keep others happy. These people are more compliant with others around them. Others are not. They don’t mind confrontation. They don’t hesitate in speaking their minds, and their opinion can come regardless of how the other person feels.

Most people don’t fall at the extreme ends of the spectrum and their traits will lie somewhere in the middle, but whether you are opposites or two of the same, the personality types can cause balance when they work, and challenges when they don’t.

When you have a marriage with someone who aims to please and someone who does not, the compliant spouse may go along to keep the peace. If the non-compliant spouse is not adept at reading the other spouse’s signals, and the compliant spouse doesn’t get skilled speaking up, the more assertive spouse will more often than not get his or her way. The compliant spouse doesn’t speak up; meanwhile, the other spouse thinks that everything is great and running smoothly.

This type of set up can breed resentment in both the compliant spouse and the non-compliant spouse. Sometimes the compliant spouse may hold it all in until she blows up, confusing the one on the receiving end. If you fall into this category, there are a few things you need to remember to keep
communication running smoothly:

Communicate intentionally and often

This is important if one person in the relationship is more hesitant to speak his or her mind. Giving your spouse consistent time and a safe space to communicate is important for making sure that his voice is given equal weight and heard.

Providing a safe space for the compliant spouse

The pleaser’s main hesitation is the possibility of confrontation. Make sure if you’re on the non-pleasing side that you are able to hear and listen without interrupting. Provide comfortable space for your spouse to express him or herself. Don’t assume everything is fine and don’t make the complaint spouse feel like he or she is shot down for having opinions.


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Compliant spouse—speak up

You are not being fair to the other person by not being open. Making your voice heard is a part of being honest. Omitting information isn’t far away from telling a lie. Your marriage needs your voice, so make sure you use it.

But what if your personalities don’t lie on opposite ends? What if you’re both the same? If you are both compliant, you have a tendency to shy away from the issues. Problems in the marriage may not be confronted or resolved at all if you don’t communicate often.

Take time on a regular basis to sit down and talk about your marriage

You may want to have a few focus areas that you touch on regularly since it might not be natural to talk about conflict immediately.

Learn to read each other’s cues

Over time, it becomes easier to tell when your partner isn’t spilling what is on her mind. If she looks like she’s holding back, ask. Understand that holding it in is only hurting your marriage. Maybe it seems that keeping things conflict free is always the solution, but if you aren’t advocating for yourself, you stop advocating for your marriage.

Don’t be afraid to face the conflict. Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship and are necessary for relationship growth. And what if neither of you is compliant? The challenge for two non-pleasers won’t be that you have difficulty saying what’s on your mind. Your challenge when the systems go awry is that you will have a more difficult time coming to an agreement. You may have to put in a little more work to agree and will benefit from conflict management. The following tips will be
important to you in being able to communicate with each other without fighting:

  • Know who you are and be honest about it – Some people are clear that they are assertive when it comes to getting their way; others aren’t as clear on where they stand. Once you know that you both share similar traits when it comes to being non-pleasers, it will be easier to manage your communications challenges.
  • Know that sometimes, one of you will have to submit – Ideally, every disagreement would be solved by each spouse coming to a mutually agreeable solution that leaves everyone equally happy. But this is the real world. At times compromise will take more on the part of one person. There will be points where one of you may have to give up a little more to get along.

Communication is at the heart of everything we do in marriage. Whether it’s through daily interactions or through managing disagreements, our successes and failures in marriage hinge upon what and how we’re communicating to our spouses with our words and our actions.

BMWK, are you keeping the communication flowing positively?

About the author

Aja Dorsey Jackson wrote 214 articles on this blog.

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and marriage educator in Baltimore, Maryland and author of the blog and book, Making Love in the Microwave.


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3 Ways Being Open With Your Spouse Can Change the Course of Your Marriage

BY: - 5 Jan '18 | Communication

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The longer I am married, going on 16 years now, the more I am convinced that tying the knot is not meant for the weak at heart or the weak minded. A good marriage takes the kind of work that requires each individual to be all in…for life. Ask anyone who’s been successfully married for a while and they will tell you that communication is the driving force behind their continued union.

While communication is a key aspect of keeping the love strong, it’s important to strengthen one of its most challenging concepts – openness. The quality of your openness with your spouse can make or break your relationship. In fact, the rise or fall of your marriage lies squarely in your ability to grasp real transparency.

In its purest form, communication requires the kind of vulnerability that people fear. When it comes to your spouse, fully letting your hair down, if you will, can seriously make cowards of us all. But it is one of the greatest ways you and your Bae can ensure a lifetime of trust and ultimately love. Even if your relationship seems doomed, there are three ways you can be open with your spouse that has the potential to truly change the course of your marriage.

Emotional Openness

When two people decide to get married, they each bring a plethora of life experiences to their union. The effect these experiences will have in the marriage won’t be easy to determine beforehand. However, preemptive action can be taken to prevent a fallout if a negative situation is triggered.

To set your marriage up to win, you must each be willing to vulnerably share the pain you feel and how your partner can help you move forward when you’ve been hurt. Taking the relationship higher will mean taking the conversations deeper. Surface conversations are no longer your friend. You know you are making emotional headway when you may be ashamed or embarrassed by what you share. This type of transparency is an important catalyst in deepening the trust between you as a couple. As a result, you will be rewarded with a healthier and stronger bond.

Physical Openness

It may seem a bit weird, but physical openness in a relationship can be a big deal if it’s not handled well. We all have insecurities about our bodies. We’re too fat. We’re too skinny. Big forehead. Flat butt. Too short. Too tall. Big nose. Crooked teeth. The list is never ending.  Unfortunately, our insecurities about our self image can bring unnecessary tension to the relationship if we fail to be open about them. I don’t mean in a self deprecating way either. Instead, be open about the physical shortcomings that bother you the most and tell your spouse why.

  • Maybe you were teased as a kid about your nose.
  • Maybe you’ve always carried a little more fat than you’d like
  • Maybe the jokes about your teeth are the reason you now refuse to smile

Whatever it may be, revealing your physical insecurities helps your spouse know one more way to encourage you. As that happens, you will learn to set aside any doubts you have about how they see you and you learn to love yourself even more.

Intellectual Openness

Sharing your mind and your way of thinking is an incredible bridge builder in a relationship. By giving your partner the opportunity to know how you think, you can open the door to communication and understanding even wider. Understanding you intellectually serves many purposes:

  • It makes you easier to approach
  • It removes the guessing game from the relationship
  • It gives you both a chance to affirm and reaffirm your compatibility
  • It makes conversations way more fun

The ability to talk to each other intelligently leads to a deeper understanding of the heart. When you know the things that are most important to your spouse’s heart, you can develop and implement ways to serve it, encourage it, and protect it.

No one said that marriage would be easy. But to make it great, openness is a must. No matter where your relationship is today, you can give it a fighting chance by laying your heart, mind, and body on the table and trust your spouse to take care of it all.

BMWK, are you ready to really be open with your spouse?


About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 157 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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