|Talking Things Out - Working Things through: Communication
A better way to resolve differences, problems, issues and challenges
As this said at the beginning; Everyone has times when they are in disagreement with someone, a
partner, a friend, a child; anyone. And there are many ways to try and work it out and resolve it.
One of the best ways is talking things out, or talking things through.
Talking things through gives each person an opportunity to consider each other’s point of view, and
thus find new, different, and more effective solutions to problems.
Working things out by talking things through, or talking them out, is a collaborative problem-solving
process that brings people together in a mutually supportive way address and solve the challenges or
issues that confront them. Most people are willing to talk when they get the sense that there is
someone who cares and is concerned.
Good communication is extremely important in relationships; unfortunately, many people do not
have good communication skills.
It is often hard to express our feelings, needs, and desires to others, including our partner,
sometimes especially our partner. Because in order to do this, we have to reveal much of our inner
self, to disclose personal information, and when we do this, we are putting ourselves in a vulnerable
position and we risk rejection.
It is normal to have some concerns and problems with communicating effectively with a close
partner. Regardless how difficult it is, it is very important for couples to practice and learn good
communication skills, since ineffective communication can significantly decrease satisfaction in a
To communicate well, there are a number of things to remember.
Good communication practices and habits include a number of things.
Honesty: honesty for example, is a top one. If you are always honest, your partner will learn that
you are a person of your words and a person who can be trusted. Trust isn’t something that just
happens, to both parties.
One method you can use to build trust is self-disclosure. It involves telling another person
intimate things about yourself. Through disclosing personal information and getting to know each
other better, two people can learn to trust each other and grow closer as a couple.
Most generally, couples that disclose more about themselves have more satisfying relationships. If
you are having trouble getting your partner to talk about him/herself, you can set a good example
by sharing something about yourself.
Once you start self-disclosing and sharing your own personal stories, your partner will be more
likely to do the same.
Be Careful of engaging in destructive communication habits.
Try to avoid such things as being defensive, defensive, withdrawing, criticizing, and insulting the
other person on purpose.
Defensiveness is where you make excuses for your actions, instead of being willing to discuss
the problems your actions cause for others.
Withdrawing (which is common) is where one person ignores the other’s feelings by walking
away or refusing to talk about problems.
Criticism puts all the blame on the other person and can be overdone by using too many you
statements, such as, “you never do this”, or "you always think you re right".
Words like “always” and “never” are especially hurtful, because they are so extreme and criticize
the other’s whole personality and all their actions, rather than focusing on the exact problem or
situation that bothers you.
Instead of using "you" words to start a sentence, try to use "I" words instead.
Instead of saying "you do this", or open with, "when you do this", try saying, "I feel this way,
when you do . . .". That way you put the focus on you, not the other person, and thus minimize
their defense reaction. Because you know how that works when they get defensive; it turns into
them responding on the offence.
Sometimes, when couples are upset with each other, they say things that intentionally hurt the
other person, things that aren’t necessary. Such insults are very destructive.
the love in a relationship.
Giving compliments is an important way to keep a relationship of friendship headed in the right
Focussing on the other person’s positive qualities is also important and necessary.
Too often we only express ourselves when we have something negative to say.
But it is absolutely essential that we recognize and talk about the positive as well as the negative.
Positive reinforcements help to strengthen relationships.
We all like people better when we associate them with positive attention.
So try this “talking things out” approach you’ll find it a safe and productive way to release all the
bottled up feelings, or even minor ones, that some issue has created.
It is vastly better than "sweeping things under the rug", because that always comes back over
and over to interfere and sabotage things.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Everyone has times when they are in disagreement with someone, a partner, a friend, a child;
anyone. And There are two "kinds" of families (or people) in this world.
The most common are those families where things do not get talked about - no matter what
goes on, what is done or said, or what happens. Nobody talks about it - the "rules" (unspoken) are
that it is to be "forgotten, and then "swept under the rug", with everybody pretending it never
Except - everybody remembers! - but because they have to keep it inside, it builds and festers;
and each time some other thing happens (and that happens a lot - because that's part of life) those
also get swept under that rug with more being added to the festering mess already inside - and all
sorts of things build up - including a lot of anger - and that will come out, often at the wrong time,
in the wrong way, over the wrong thing. And when those things are "brought up" it is usually in
an accusatory and attacking fashion - a blaming and shaming accusatory fashion. Most often it is
aggressive, often with intimidation, threats and name calling.
This is all done in order to avoid accountability - and taking ownership of words and actions.
And the others are usually cowed into not calling them to account. These aggressive people are
fully into denial entire approach to others in many circumstances is adversarial. Their aggression
serves to allow them to get what they want - and while they may think they are caring people, the
reality is that they are only "caring" as long as they do not have to change anything - see the page
on assertiveness for a thumbnail sketch of aggressive people
And there is a certain negative tone, negative body language (often intimidating) and lots of
name calling and put it all on the person being “attacked”. They attackers are often sneaky and
cowardly enough to use innuendo and hints rather coming out directly and being open. None of
this fixes anything; it only makes it worse - and leaves even more to be swept under the rug - and
more that can fester - to be repeated over and over. That sort of thing creates, fear, doubt,
uncertainty, and affects one's confidence and self-image and ultimately one's self-esteem and leads
to total insecurity.
As long as the ones on the receiving end accept it, they are enabling the aggressor to continue
unchallenged. Often these people put up with it, or "accept" it to keep the peace (hoping that
things will improve) - yet it only enables (see the denial page for more.) Those who remain silent
and accept this behaviour and language are often referred to as "passive" people, the image most
people have of passive people is someone timid and are often referred to as "passive" people, the
image most people have of passive people is someone timid and passive-aggressive - meaning
they passively absorb what is handed out to them - but the inner anger builds, calm and
unassuming and very caring. But they too, operate under a negative trait: they tend to become
calm and unassuming and very caring. But they too, operate under a negative trait: they tend to
become passive-aggressive - meaning they passively absorb what is handed out to them - but the
inner anger builds, and under the right trigger circumstances, they too, will lash out aggressively -
usually out of all proportion to what just happened, and these people too, will resort to both
innuendo ans snide comments - and then go into denial about it, and sweep it under the rug - or
blame someone else. Generally, the other way they "fight back" is through procrastination,
stubbornness, or inefficiency - all things that aren't usually considered to be "aggressive" - but it is
aggression just the same. And they too, may be caring and kind people - but only so far - also as
long as they don't have to change.
Then there is the other kind:
These are the people who don’t believe in the above: they understand that certain things need to be
talked about – sometimes explained, sometimes apologized for (taking ownership), and sometimes to
get feelings out and get those heard and responded to.
For these people talking is permitted - and they talk it out – but it goes entirely differently than the
above: first of all, because the intention is the opposite of what happens in the above. In the other
approach, the intention is to hurt, frighten and accuse the other person – and try to shift all the blame
on them – mostly to get them to shut up.
Of course, the same things are mentioned, and many of the words are the same - but they are
softened - and said in a general way - to deal with whatever it was. The tone of voice, the volume,
the body language and facial expression are totally different – even the way it is spoken of is
different. In this way, no one feels attacked or accused, so there is no need to feel defensive and
prepare a counter-attack. It allows for clarification, for feeling understood and responded to in kind,
and it allows all the negative feelings that went with whatever the topic was to be resolved and
discharged - so that they don't slide under that rug, and don't become mountains that will explode
down the road. And so that it won’t have to come up again, and life gets that much smoother, and
each person grows more confident.
Unfortunately, as I said above – the second kind is much less common – and the other more
prevalent, and that has major consequences for later on in life. Because it sometimes happens is that
two people meet: one familiar with the "under the rug" approach - and nobody talking except in a
blaming, accusing and shaming way - and the other who has learned the major benefits of "talking
things out". Here’s the potential for disaster: unless those people are careful, from that point on a lot
of misunderstanding will occur - because each sees and interprets what's going on totally differently.
The one will see it as an attack, a fight and bickering - and respond and react exactly in the same
way as they are used to;
the other will see it as an attempt to caringly bring something into the open and "fix" it, but will be
taken aback at the reaction and the response ansd won't understand it. It happens because they both
see and interpret it differently - and the result most often is that it doesn't get "fixed" - but becomes
Read on to see/learn what is involved in talking things out – and how to go about it.
|Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2017
Questions and comments welcomed.