Question for Penny: I know honest communication is key to a successful relationship, and so I make a point to
always communicate with my partner so there is no misunderstanding. I try to
speak positively, but most times we get into an even more heated argument. It’s
so frustrating I just want to give up! What’s the point of communicating openly
if this is the result?
Answer: There are too many variables
to touch on with this topic; the timing, the mood, the words you choose,
relevancy of what’s being said, can all affect the message you intend to
deliver. Verbal communication is not enough. It doesn’t work as effectively unless
paired with your mindful awareness of how you come across as you’re delivering
your message. How is your facial expression? Body language? Tone of
We may have good intentions with our message, but our delivery could be the
reason it is not received well. So the question is, how could you be better at
delivering your message if you want to be understood? You’re certainly not
alone because the truth is, we ALL go through this. I certainly have my share
of moments forcing me to continually refine my communication skills.
The biggest communication problem is that most of us do not listen to
understand. Instead, we listen “on guard” ready to reply, to resist, or fight
back. This is where all misunderstanding begins and
suffering thoughts and emotions escalate.  It’s NOT only about
trying to get your point across. Because that alone is NOT effective
Effective communication is one that is not only honest, but also kind, or
at the very least, fair. It is one that delivers only facts, and is done with
tact. If your communication isn’t coming through kindly, then it’s hurting more
than it’s healing.
And don’t expect the other person to respond the way you think
“they should respond” because you can’t completely control how others
choose to respond or react. It would be wiser to learn to be open so you don’t
lock in on specific expectations and set yourself up for disappointment.
So how do you deliver this kind of calm, and also help your
partner understand? How do you share kindly, and in return
receive his/her respond or reaction with compassion? The answer
remains: Practice. Practice. Practice.
Start by remembering this: People can forget what you said, people can
forget what you did, but people will never forget how you leave them feeling.
So before you speak, ask yourself, “how do I want to leave my partner
feeling?” You certainly don’t want to leave them feeling hurt.

But for the most part, when you truly love someone you want to do what’s
best for the relationship. By asking “how do I want to leave my
partner feeling?” perhaps it can activate a deeper part of you that
innately knows how to deliver a more effective style of communication that
is healing, not hurting.